Sunday, 29 November 2015

GIVE YOUR HAIR A WINTER REFRESH

I don't know about you, but the winter months leave me below par in both mood and appearance. The shortened days lead me to scoffing even more comfort food - making my skin more prone to breakouts and my wasitbands tight enough to leave those fetching red indents. I feel less inclined to make an effort with my grooming because there's less hours of daylight to shine light on the transformation, and a knowledge that the rain/wind/snow/sleet will likely ruin it. In short, I tend to let myself go a bit. With beanies and big wooley jumpers it's just all too easy to disguise the evidence. 

I find winter hard enough to deal with though, with the effects of SAD taking a firm grip and that end of the year feeling looming, when you start to consider whether you have reached all the goals you set at the beginning of the year (and then realising you haven't). Why do I choose to compound these issues by giving up on my appearance? It only makes me feel rubbish and more inclined to hermit.

This year I am going to make a conscious effort to try and maintain a certain level of gromming and aesthetic. I'm never going to be one of those people that gets hashtagged with #onfleek #goals or #flawless but for a topical analogy - I want to try and look more like the I'm a Celebrity Constestant once they've had a refresh at theVersace hotel, rather than looking like a unkempt camp-mate covered in cockroach.


Once sure fire way to give yourself a boost in appearance is updating or changing your hair, or maintaining your current style and ensuring it looks freshly done (or close to it). You guys know that I'm used to a bi yearly (tri, if I'm lucky) trip to see my hair stylist friend Loren, who will give me a blonde look that will still look ok with months of regrowth. She knows with my schedule or approach to beauty that any dye job that requires upkeep is not a wise choice. You guys know I'm a creature of habit and a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to my hair, but when the opportunity came for a Winter Refresh at Easton Regal salon there was no question about my response. I'd heard such great things about this particular Clerkenwell salon, and with my attitude to winter beauty I couldn't wait to get in the chair. The fact that their clients include Ellie Goulding, Emma Willis and Helen George confirmed that this would be a wise decision.

The salon is situated a short walk from Farringdon station and stands out as a beautiful structure on Clerkenwell Road. With the iconic red telephone box outside, the combination of brown and red brick and the classic red door it feels very British, very London in fact.


The salon has a lovely feel when you step inside, with dark wood flooring, rich maroon and black chesterfields, punctuated by gold mirrors, antique furniture and antlers. There is also a sweeping feature wall showcasing the salon's creations and press cuttings. They've put in the effort to make the space feel suitably festive too, with ball ball decorated twigs and perfectly wrapped presents scattered throughout the reception area. Some salons try so hard to look sleek and minimal that you're left  feeling cold, but this two storey space has more warmth and personality to it. No wonder it's in Tatler's top ten boutique salons.


The staff are friendly on arrival, but not in that over the top way that can feel forced - just a nice natural way that puts you at instant ease. They are quick to sort out any refreshments you may want, and my requsted water was brought with some lovely flapjack bites. Free tasty snacks are always a winner. 

After a very short wait my stylist Grace greeted me and got my caped up.
 

We had a quick chat about what I looking to achieve from and decided to sort out my roots and just lighten it up a bit, particulary the strands that frame my face.  

Having had a disastrous hair dye experience at another salon many years ago, which resulted on having to cut severel inches off my hair, I still feel a certain bit of unease when I try a new destination. Thanks to Grace's very obvious proficiency when it comes to her work, I relaxed pretty much immediately, and I became confident I'd be leaving the salon feeling very swish worthy. 


Getting your hair done can feel a very long process when you get a stylist that doesn't want to engage. My session flew by because Grace was so easy to talk to. We managed to natter endlessly about...well, everything under the sun - First Dates, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, our love life...I even felt comfortable enough to talk about my IBS!


Colour Technician Grace - word on the street is that she does killer blow drys too.


I don't know whether I should admit this, but I always tend to earwig the person next to me. At good salons where people feel relaxed, clients do tend to open up and it's always interesting to hear what they do and what they're about. The very glam and sophistacated publisher next me had told her friend to meet her there so they could chat work while having a blow dry. She had reccommended it to her friend, and you could tell they were people with eyes for detail. Us ladies are very particular about hair, so I think an endoresement from a friend says a lot about a place.



When it came to washing my hair, a gentlemen with lustrous locks tookover. You have the choice whether you want the black leather chair to massage while you get rinsed. In the past I have always replied yes to this question, but I haven't always enjoyed the experience. This massage chair was lovely though - I don't know whether it was the setting or the particular model of the chair, but man alive it was pleasurable. My wash, condition and rinse was then completed with a blissful head massage, which was so good I actually forgot that I was in the midst of one of the most stressful weeks of my year! 

As well as the shiatsu massage basins, the salon has Air Charge smart phone charging stations, Roller Ball and Micro Mist treatment machines -  and I just love how these state of the art tech elements juxtpose the taxidermy and art deco detailing.










 If you like the look Grace achieved on my hair, here is some technical info. 

She used Colour Schwarzkopf Igora - 12.1 with 12%
Blonde ME bleach 6%
alternated.

I love that it is the perfect balance of warm and cool, and although it is clear I've had a colour boost it still is in the realms of a natural look. She literally took the look out of my imagination, and I couldn't be more pleased with the overall colour. 


Alex (who you can see in some of the fashion week shots on the salon website) took the reigns when it came to the blow dry, and made it clear what an art form it actually is. The attention and care he gave when it came to creating a finish that would show off my new colour to it's best advantage, was obvious and admirable. You could tell how much pride he has in the work, and there was no sense of just getting the job done.

Alessandro/Alex - Creative Stylist - He's worked with Jasper Garvida who features on this blog most LFW'S

I find the whole aspect of facing a mirror and looking at my mug for numerous hours somewhat unpleasant, but as he did his thing I kept wanting to look and marvel, so much so he kept having to adjust my head.

I always say that if I was rich one of the first luxuries I would add to my life is a regular blow dry. I basically want to be Cat Deeley and have advert worthy hair at all times. For me, a good blow dry has the ability to make me walk with more confidence. I would never say that I feel sexy, but bouncy volumised hair makes me feel as close to that as I ever will. I stand taller, look more people in the eye, and just generally feel like a better version of myself. I am a firm believer of beauty on the inside, but feeling good about yourself really does help you shine and more inclined to show that inner stuff.



They turned to Kevin Murphy in terms of the products, a brand that I have actually used before and would thoroughly reccommend to anyone, particularly those with parched locks. If you have colour treated hair and want to ensure it doesn't get weakened or damaged by it, I believe his masks and leave in conditioners are some of the best in the market. He also has some great temporary hair colour options, including his colour bugs which are much loved amongst the blogging community.


Don't you just hate it when you have good hair, but nowhere to go. After my look was complete I had to brave the underground, then head home to Weybridge and meet some hefty deadlines. So instead of getting my glad rags on, taking my new do out, and showing it off in a glam location, I had to settle with my dad taking my picture in the lounge and posting it on instagram. Thank goodness for social media and blogging I guess, otherwise this hair win would have never been exposed! 

Sadly I know I won't be able to recreate the tremendous blow dry, but my updated and renewed colour will continue to make me feel better during a period of time I usually feel inclined to hide under a mass of wool and faux fur. The halo of brighter blonde round my face also makes the world of difference by perking up my grey winter weary skin.

So guys, if you find that Winter leaves you feeling a bit lackluster and CBA, give yourself a beauty treat. Get that new style you've been umming and ahhing about, get those roots done, try a new daring colour...whatever you want. Just give yourself a much deserved refresh,  not only will it give you a visual boost, I guarantee it will do the same for your mood. 

It's Christmas, a time for giving....who said you can't give to yourself!




 
eastonregal.com

Thanks to Easton Regal who kindly created this look for review purposes. 
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