Showing posts with label salon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salon. Show all posts

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Hot or Hype? Olaplex at Billi Currie

A few weeks ago, I went down to Billi Currie's Tardis-like salon near Baker Street to try out the Olaplex treatment.  If you're at all interested in hair, you've probably heard of Olaplex already - it's the latest damage repairing, hair fixing treatment on the market, and The Internet is impressed.

Olaplex claims that the treatment system can repair the bonds in the hair which are broken down by colouring and styling.  It works best on hair which is pretty frazzled.  As the first stage, a slightly yellowy fluid, was applied to my dry hair, I was told that that Olaplex is so game changing that there are already copycats on the market (all suspiciously ending in 'plex'), and that it's an interesting development from a company who are focused on science rather than wringing more money from an already saturated haircare market.

Yeah, I thought, sounds like the usual product marketing bullshit.  As I sat and waited for the first stage to soak in, I noted that indeed, many of the big hair players have released a 'plex' product.  Ten minutes later, the second stage product was applied - unlike the watery first step, this one felt more familiar, being a conditioner-like fluid which was applied atop my already damp hair.  Ten minutes more, and it was shampooed out.

Afterwards I had a blowdry (which was excellent) and was surprised by the level of shine my hair had in it, but still - I've never had a blow dry which didn't end with beautifully shiny hair.  The real test, I was told, was how my hair felt in the following weeks, and whether my vibrant pink colour faded more slowly, as it should do following the treatment.

Three weeks on and I'm a definite convert.  My colour is holding better (although that might also have something to do with the new colour I'm trialling), but most impressively, my hair is significantly less fluffy than it was before, requiring only a bit of oil to dry naturally to a smooth(ish), rather than frizzy, finish.  And all this after a single treatment.  Olaplex is designed to be used frequently, and can actually be added to colour as it's applied to the hair to pre-empt the damage.

I'll definitely be using it again - perhaps not as a standalone service, which costs £50 at Billi Currie (ouch), but as an add-in to my colour service, which is a much more reasonable £20 at Rockalily Cuts, my regular hairdresser.  If your hair, like mine, suffers from regular colour/bleach and heat styling, it's well worth a try.

Disclosure: Complimentary treatment received at Billi Currie in exchange for a review

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Offer: 25% Off at Lisa Shepherd London + Free Shampoo & Conditioner

A recent event at Lisa Shepherd's London salon left me with incredibly bouncy, beautifully smooth hair, thanks to a quick trim and blow dry.  Whilst I suspect that the salon was too full of bloggers having a nose around to give me an accurate idea of the level of service you get as a paying customer, I did find love every second of the smooth n'shiny hair I walked out with.

Anyway, if you're due a colour or a cut, consider popping along to Lisa Shepherd, situated in the thick of it in central London on Mortimer Street.  If you quote "London Beauty Review" when booking, you'll get 25% off any services, and a free shampoo and conditioner to take home.  You'll find a full list of treatments and prices at the Lisa Shepherd website.

Disclosure: We received complimentary trims and blowdries at Lisa Shepherd at a recent event

Friday, 5 August 2011

Nail of the Fortnight: Artistic Colour Gloss in Crazed

I recently popped down to Urban Retreat at Harrods for an Artistic Colour Gloss manicure.  Artistic Colour Gloss is a soak-off gel manicure of the kind that lasts you up to two weeks - without damaging the nails underneath.  There are a whopping 66 shades on offer - this is Crazed, a hot pink-berry shade with blue, red and pink microglitter.  For some reason, I was under the impression that gel manicures were generally cream finish, so I was pleasantly surprised to see some sparkle on offer.

This photo was taken after four days, and my nails still look as fresh as they did after application.  Because the gel polish is cured with LED lights, I left the salon with bone dry, perfectly shiny nails - which was fantastic.  I'm quite clumsy, and often smudge salon manicures within half an hour of leaving, so having that possibility ruled out completely definitely works for me.  

I had thought that the gel layer would protect my nails from any accidental breaks, but I've found that as the polish layer is incredibly thin, the nails remain pretty flexible.  This means that if you're a bit clumsy (spotting a theme here?), you can still break your nails whilst wearing the gel manicure - which is what I've managed to do on my little finger.  Still, filed down below the break, the nail still looks shiny and polished.

I'll be posting again in a couple of weeks to see how long it lasts - so stay tuned for the results.  The Artistic Colour Gloss manicure (sold as the Everlasting Manicure) is available at Urban Retreat, where it will cost you £55 - certainly not cheap, but a reasonable price to pay if you want your polish guaranteed gorgeous for the entire duration of your holiday, or for a special occasion like a wedding, when you really don't want the possibility of a last minute chip.  The price includes a complimentary soak-off treatment to remove the polish from the nails.

Disclosure:  Manicure service was received free of charge as a sample

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Headmasters blowdry

Disclosure: This service was provided free of charge by Headmasters' PR.

This is me, and my hair in its au naturel state. It's not an incredibly inspiring start.

A couple of hours later, my hair had been transformed into this:

These buoyant waves are all thanks to the ministrations of stylist Darren at Headmasters in Hanover St., central London.

I was invited as part of a PR event to come along for a Valentine's blowdry last week. After meeting Darren and choosing one of Headmasters' off-the-peg 2010 blowdries as a starting point, I enjoyed a shampoo, condition and scalp massage. The salon has a bank of sinks set apart from the main work area, with luxurious reclining chairs and silver beaded curtains between each one. Very relaxing.

I was then escorted to one of the stations in the main body of the salon, which is a light and airy space spread over two floors. Darren applied styling products to lift and give texture to my hair, and then rough-dried it all over. Next, he divided the hair into sections and began blow-drying it in loose curls with a big ceramic radial brush.

It's great watching a seasoned professional at work - Darren, who has worked at HM for ten years, wielded the brush and dryer with incredible speed and skill. After that, he indulged my wish for more curls, using heated styling tongs to define the ends. Once that was done, he let the hair cool for a short while to allow the style to set, before "zhuzzhing" it with fingertips into a looser, more natural shape.

It was a lovely experience and I found Darren very thorough and his work of amazing quality. The atmosphere in the salon is professional but quite relaxed, and I didn't find it intimidating in the way that some salons can be. Obviously being there for a press event isn't the same as going for a regular appointment, but I hope this gives some indication of what you can expect when you visit Headmasters.

While at the salon I learned that Headmasters are offering a half-price sale on all hair colour treatments between now and March 12. To give you an idea of the prices;

* Vegetable Colour from £20
* Half Head Foils from £58
* Full Head Tissue Lights from £100

Full details of salon branches (there are 40 across the UK) are at Headmasters website or you can ring them on 08700 841 400 to find out where your local one is. I'm told that the half-price colour appointments book up quick, so call now if you're interested.
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