Archive of ‘Beauty’ category

Daniel Galvin.

SOOOO.. I know you guys have been waiting patiently over the last couple of days for this post based on all the messages, emails and instagram comments I’ve had requesting an update on my new do. Well, the wait is over my loves and I am so excited to share with you the truly incredible day I had at Daniel Galvin. Before I get to the nitty gritty of the big chop and what the final result looks like, let me just quickly fill you in on the place where the magic happened..

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Based in the West End, the Daniel Galvin flagship salon is simply stunning. A grand space, set over two floors with beautiful minimalist decor. In spite of the large size, the salon was heaving on a Saturday morning with a real buzz in the atmosphere. I loved that there was enough space between each station so that no matter how busy it gets, every client gets the feel of a one to one experience. That was actually something that consistently stood out to me the whole time I was there – the attention to detail. DG don’t just provide you with a great haircut or colour, they provide you with an experience from start to finish.

 I remember walking in with sweaty palms and my voice shaking as I let the receptionists know that I had arrived for my appointment with James Galvin. I was so incredibly nervous in the cab drive to the salon and I was physically shaking as I was greeted by James’s wonderful assistant, Demi who led me to the private room they had booked for my cut. Within a couple of minutes I met James and all my worries melted away. James Galvin is effortlessly cool, intuitive and incredibly easy to talk to – basically, a nervous salon go-ers dream. We discussed what I wanted to do, he asked why I was donating my hair with genuine interest and reassured me that shorter hair would suit my face. I’m not sure whether it was his friendly demeanor, the years of expertise that oozed off him or perhaps a combination of the two that quickly made my heart go from pounding with nerves to fluttering in excitement.

I showed James my inspiration photos and he talked me through a version of the long bob that would work best for my hair. With that, I took a deep breath as James cut into my plait and set to work!

Over the course of the haircut, I made a mental note of everything James was currently involved in, including being a brand ambassador for Shu Uemura, working with his family on the upcoming relaunch of their own line of products, the addition of a Daniel Galvin salon in a very VERY well known London department mega store (think top 3!) and the upcoming launch of their boutique salon in Kensington. When I voiced my admiration of the amount of things he had on at the moment, he simply said with a smile “I suppose when you stop to think about it, it is a lot”. This is what I absolutely loved the most about DG and the message behind it. Their growth and success over the years has been the direct result of the sheer talent and hard work of the people behind it. Daniel Galvin has played a huge role in the industry since the 60’s and has created and established techniques that are used in salons worldwide and it’s amazing to see that the level of passion, ambition and quality is still so strong all these years later.

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After my fabulous cut, James used a couple of amazing Shu Uemura products and a wide barreled tong to style my hair. I can’t even tell you guys how happy I was with the final result. Not for a single second did I regret my decision to cut off my hair and the huge smile that I couldn’t wipe off my face was testament to it. I absolute love waking up in the morning and knowing that even if I don’t have the time to style my hair, it’s still going to look fab thanks to James.

If you haven’t already had the Daniel Galvin experience, make sure you guys check them out for your next hair makeover.. trust me, it’ll be the best hair related decision you’ll ever make. Get more details on your nearest DG salon by clicking here.

For anyone wondering, my plait was popped into a freezer bag, placed in a padded envelope and donated to The Little Princess Trust. Make sure that if you’re going to be cutting off more than 7 inches of your hair, wig it and don’t bin it!

Oh and most importantly, what do you guys think of the new do?

Thanks for reading my loves.. until the next post!

xox

Duck & Dry

DPP_0012A few days ago, I ‘ducked’ into the hippest new blow dry bar in town – Duck & Dry. Located in the heart of London’s most coveted postcode, D&D offers more than just the best blow dry in London – it’s about the overall experience they go out of their way to provide their clients.

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Walking in, the first thing that stood out to me was the unique and beautifully decorated space smack bang in the middle of King’s Road, with it’s modern and inviting interior and lots of attention to detail.

The idea behind Duck and Dry was to provide an accessible everyday hair styling solution at an affordable price and it certainly does achieve that. I love that they really focus on providing an overall experience that is so much more than just the hair do. All around me, clients in chairs with a glass of champers in their hand and their stylists were laughing and chatting away. It’s the social aspect that D&D bring to their service that really makes it stand out above the rest. It’s the perfect spot to head to with your mum for a pamper session or a group of girlfriends before a big night out – cocktails and catchup’s while you get your hair did, sounds pretty good no?

Browsing through their beautiful leather bound list of services, I was amazed at how affordable they were – for £28 you get a hair wash and one of their 8 signature blow dry’s or an updo for £35, all while in the capable hands of their senior stylists. You could also opt for a hair treatment or a trim before your do too, pretty much a one stop shop for your locks! A selection of drinks and nibbles are also available at their bar whether it’s prosecco you fancy, a caffeine pick me up or some popcorn!

I met my stylist for the day, Kirsty O’Brien and decided to opt for the high tide waves. Kirsty washed my hair with some of D&D’s hand picked products and I pretty much fell asleep during the shampoo because oh my god, it was amazing. Magic hands Kirsty!

I always find it awkward making small talk but Kirsty was soo easy to talk to – her infectious laugh and super friendly manner had me chatting away non stop. Poor Kirsty, not only did she have to deal with my endless mop of hair but my terrible jokes too but she handled both like a pro :) After Kirsty blow dried my hair straight, I could already see the difference in my hair with the products she had used to wash it – it was shinier and softer to the touch. She then proceeded to style it and I was completely in love with the finished product. You guys know how much I love big hair and it certainly had that va va voom factor going on – and the  best bit? Here I am 3 days later and my hair still looks pretty damn good. Thank you to Kirsty and Fatima and everyone who made my trip to Duck & Dry so fabulous..

Make sure you Duck in the next time you’re in the area, whether it’s to get your hair did or to check out one of their awesome pop up events..

Duck & Dry
335 King’s Road, Greater London
020 3489 9370

Some of you may know that I have been gearing up to make the move over to YouTube recently.. I’m not sure what it is that’s been holding me back – feeling like I’m not quite ready, my hectic schedule or fear of failure but whatever it is, I have been practicing my editing skills with little instagram video’s lately and thanks so much for all the great feedback! Here’s the 15 sec BTS clip from my time at Duck & Dry..

Thanks for reading my lovelies.. until the next post!

xox

HOW TO: Contour & Highlight with Comedic

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Hey guys! So.. as soo many of you have been kind enough to compliment me on my makeup on all my social media channels over the last couple of years, I’ve been wanting to branch out a little more into beauty posts.. and there’s no time like the present ay?

I think it’s safe to say that contouring was one of the big beauty hits of 2014. What was once a trick of the trade reserved for A-listers gracing the red carpets or models on the set of a photo shoot is now a part of many a makeup mavens’ daily routine. Would I contour everyday? Quite simply.. no. I don’t have the time for it nor could I cope with wearing that much makeup on a daily basis. Not that I have a problem with anyone who does but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized the importance of letting my skin breathe to avoid breaking out – But while I wouldn’t include it in my daily routine, I DO love it. I tend to always contour my face a bit if I’m heading to an event where I know I’m going to be photographed, especially if it’s in the evening. Contouring is amazing for creating the illusion of a slimmer face, more prominent cheek bones and a smaller nose – consider it the photoshop of makeup!

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I tend to use products by MAC when I contour but when Comedic beauty got in touch with me about trying out some products by LA Girl, I was completely on board. I’ve heard SO much about LA Girl Cosmetics Pro Conceal tubes. Stateside beauty bloggers have been raving about these cheap and cheerful concealers and have repeatedly likened them to MAC’s pro longwear concealers but at half the price. The pro long wear concealers are pretty much my holy grail so the thought of being able to get the same affect at half the price had me gagging to try these beauties out. The photo’s below are from the first time I ever used them so I thought I would share my method of contouring and highligting with you guys at the same time! Let’s get started…

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For the benefit of not having a bazillion photos included in this post, I’m starting from the point of where I’ve already done my base and eye makeup. I actually do my eye makeup before putting on my foundation as I work with loose pigment and it’s easier to clean up any excess that drops onto my cheeks with a makeup wipe and then put on my base. SO, after you’ve done your foundation, you’re going to want to get started on the highlighting – aim for a shade about 2/3 shades lighter than your own skin. If you’re a pro at blending, you can drop down another shade. I’m using the shade Creamy Beige.

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You’re basically going to want to highlight any area that the light would naturally hit on your face – under the eyes, along your T zone so forehead, down the centre of your nose and on the centre of your chin. I also put a little on my smile lines and above my eyebrows.

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Next – the countouring! You’ll need a shade about 2/3 times darker than your skin tone. I used ‘Beautiful Bronze‘. This is where you’re going to create the illusion of deeper shadows on your face so you’ll need to draw lines down your cheekbones, along your hairline and jawline. I also like to contour my nose to a) make it appear a little thinner and b) to straighten it a bit more, so I shade the sides of my nose and put a little product underneath it too.

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You may look like your covered in war paint at this stage but it will look good I promise!

Now the fun part – the blending! I normally use my beauty blender, but seeing as we’re testing out cheaper alternatives, I used the drugstore equivalent – the real techniques miracle complexion sponge. You’ll want to dampen the sponge as it makes blending a whole load easier and gives you that airbrushed, seamless finish!

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Using the pointed end of the sponge, start to blend the lighter shade into your skin. The motion you should be using is that of dabbing. Gently dab at an area of skin until the product appears to have been buffed into your skin.

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Turn the sponge around and using the slanted end, blend the darker shade into the areas we highlighted. When blending a darker area into a highlighter area, turn the sponge back to the pointed side which will have some of the lighter product still on it and alternate between the two to help achieve a perfectly blended finish.

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Once you’re done with your face, it should look a little something like this. I leave the line down the centre of my nose till the end as I like to blend that with my fingers – just to be more precise. Once you’re done, you’ll need to set the product with blotting or loose powders in the same shade. You can set the darker areas with bronzer if you don’t have a dark powder handy. IMG_0063

Once I was done with the contouring and highlighting, I used an LA Girl cosmetics endless lipliner in the shade ‘Natural‘ on my lips to complete the look.

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VOILA! Can you see the difference?

I was REALLY impressed with the Pro Concealers from LA Girl cosmetics. They really are similar to the MAC pro long wear concealers and are FANTASTIC for contouring and highlighting due to their high level of coverage. The only downside I found was that they do dry a little quicker but all that means is that you either need to blend fast or just work a little bit more to get the product buffed into your skin. I think for the price that’s a TINY negative! They cost £3.99 at Comedic and come in 18 different shades. I have heard that you can get them for cheaper on a couple of other sites but every where I’ve checked, they’ve been out of stock whereas Comedic replenishes their stock quite regularly. The sponge from Real Techniques cost £5.99 and is available at all major drugstores. So all in all the 2 concealers and sponge cost £13.97 which is the same cost as one MAC concealer!!

Hope you guys enjoyed today’s post! If so, let me know and I’ll be sure to do more ‘HOW TO’ posts in the future.

Thanks for reading my lovelies.. until the next post!

xox

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a makeup artist nor do I claim to be. The post above is based on my own opinions and what works for me.

Athena London

A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of visiting the AHHH-MAZING new beauty haven that is Athena in Brick Lane to have a fabulous makeover by their dream team!

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Matt and I were greeted by the brains behind the venture, Aleysha Mawani. As you walk in, the first thing that jumps out at you is the stunning interior – exposed brick with decadent gold antique frames hanging from the walls, a vintage lips sofa beckoning for you to take a seat with pick and mix an arm’s length away. The attention to detail is amazing! I later learned that Aleysha spent a year finding the right space and months on perfecting every little detail within Athena – from which light bulbs would go above the makeup tables to completing the glittery finish on her walls with her own hands.

What initially looks like a cosy little setup is quickly discovered to be very generous space over two floors. Aleysha led us first to the back to show us the studio they use to photograph their clients, if they’re not taking street style shots against graffiti walls a stones throw away that is! We then followed her downstairs to look at the multiple rooms in which Athena hosts intimate masterclasses for makeup enthusiasts.

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After some initial excited chatter and discovering that Aleysha had been my MUA on a shoot several years ago (which I reminded her of to her surprise – hehehe), we got down to business. I took a seat in a hollywood style fold up chair and got to know a little bit more about Athena as Aleysha worked her magic on my face.

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Tell me a little bit about Athena in your own words..

Athena is the goddess of arts, crafts, skill and wisdom.
At Athena we teach the art of makeup in fun and intimate classes of 6 or less. By taking a masterclass, you pick up a fab skill but you also have a great time with a bag of pick and mix and a whole station of makeup to play with.
We offer glam for nights out, which we absolutely love to do. We love giving women confidence like you get when you have a new hair do and feel fab, or have your new dress on and you just want to go out and feel great in it. Look good… feel good!
Our photoshoots are so much fun. We do different make up and hair looks, we take studio shots, some with our vintage furniture. We go out onto Brick Lane to take some outdoor, natural light shots. You really get a good bunch of versatile, creative and gorgeous pics!

What was the inspiration behind it?

I started Athena with aspirations to be the go to place for glam. Our makeup artists and hairstylists LOVE what they do, and make people look so gorgeous. And we want everyone who comes in to leave feeling absolutely gorgeous and happy.
I have been a hairstylist and makeup artist for years now, and my clients have always told me they would love to learn how to do certain looks on themselves. So I wanted to create a whole bunch of classes with lots of different looks for everyone.

Why Brick Lane?

Brick Lane in one of my favourite places in London. I love the art and creativity. There are so many fun events. There is a real vintage vibe which is great, and walking along Brick Lane, you see people with so many different styles. It’s a place where people are not afraid to express themselves and be different. Brick Lane is a great home for Athena, with all its creativity and love of fashion, beauty and art.

Once Aleysha had me ready for a night out on the town with a gorgeous smokey eye and nude lip, she sent me over to have my hair done. I was put into the VERY capable hands of Sandra, who gave me the most luxurious set of curls I have ever had in my hair – don’t think my hair has ever looked better!

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At this point, feeling like a full fledged glamazon, I was led into the studio to commemorate my makeover with a mini shoot in their studio – complete with fan and diva touch ups (Thanks Sandra!) and then a quick street style shoot in the vibrant atmosphere of Brick Lane.

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I loved everything about my time at Athena – from how easy it was to talk to every one there, to the care and attention the girls’ took to making sure I was comfortable and happy every step of the way, to the family like atmosphere amongst the team – it states on their website that they want their clients to leave feeling happy, well I can certainly vouch for that!

Make sure you check out Athena next time your in East London.. Contact details below!

Thanks for reading my lovelies.. until the next post!

PS. How ace are these photos? Thank you Matt!!

xox

Athena London
188 Brick Lane, London, Shadwell E1 6SA
020 7033 3920
@athenaldn

 

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