27.7.12

GHD : Good Hair Day.....with a 40s twist


The list of things I love in life is extensive. But right near the top of the list is hair. I love creating styles and can gaze at pictures and videos forever (very bad for the work flow, especially when you can kind of call it work.... but really you know you should be doing something else….) What you should know, is that I’m a trained hairdresser. What you should also know, is that the only bit I really got a thrill from is the styling. Not with scissors but with the mighty comb. The finishing, the sculpting and whilst some hairdressers loathe hair ups, I was always happy to down scissors and arm myself with the Kirby grips.

Due to this I’ve done many a prom and wedding hair and am always on the lookout for inspiration and with The Historical Sauces I show clients how to develop their own vintage style.  I was approached to work with GHD to not only review their new hair dryer but also to take part in a hair challenge, with a choice of decades to take my inspiration from. For me the forties was calling, but as I like to mix it up, I’ve used a forties technique to create a style you can easily wear even if you don't dress in a vintage way, but do want to create some pretty vintage inspired hair. But first,  was does this new addition to the GHD family have to offer?



The GHD Air hair dryer

The pros

·         It’s incredibly light to hold (no more achy arms)
·         It comes with two differently sized nozzles
·      It’s noticeably quieter than my previous dryers
·         It doesn’t get too hot. Lack of heat is a pro? YES! Because it’s much kinder to your hair BUT don’t think that your losing power, this is a high performance dryer. It dries brilliantly, just without cooking your hair.
·         A 3m power cable. This is much longer than your average hair dryer and allows you to practically walk around the room and carry on drying your hair.
·         It boasts an ergonomic design. So it's just as easy to use if you’re a leftie or a rightie. I actually got someone who is left handed to test this and they found it fine. In a world mainly designed for right handers it’s easy for us to take these things for granted!

The cons

·         At £99 it’s not cheap 


When I think of GHD, I think of a premium brand that most salons use, and for the girl on the street, it’s a brand that’s expensive, but gives salon results. This is what GHD is, a bit of the salon in your own home. This is without doubt a great dryer, the lightness of it makes blow drying your hair properly (in sections and using a brush as a stylist will in a salon) incredibly easy. It really dries well without your locks feeling the burn. You don’t get that heated hair smell when you turn it up to full blast, because let’s face it – I think we’re all guilty of turning up the heat to speed up the drying process, so we can get out of the door quicker. 

It uses ‘’ advanced ionic technology to lock in moisture for softer, shinier results that last for longer ‘’ Of course price is all relative to what you have to spend, and £99 feels a lot for a hair dryer , it is a lot, but the GHD straighteners are also in that price range making them more expensive than other brands you can buy, but……….  You do know that you’ll get decent results for your investment and in my experience with GHD,  professionally and personally, it’s a reliable brand that will do what it promises.


My top tips for giving a salon worthy blow dry at home:

1) Towel dry your hair well. You want your hair to be damp but not dripping wet.

2) Choose your styling product with care, if your hair already has lots of fullness (lucky you) then using something to boost the volume might send it out of control! I've fine hair but lots of it, so I use and swear by, a Tigi product called Small to add fullness.

3) Choose your brush with care, a round brush can create volume. A flat vent brush won't.

4) Use a pintail comb to section your hair neatly,  begin drying the hair at the base near the neck , dry all of this section then work your way up the head.

5) Dry a section at a time working round the head, using the brush to lift the section at the roots then brushing through to the tips . Directing the air down the hair will smooth the hair shaft giving a smoother, shinier result.

6) Keep taking sections and work your way up the head. 

7) Pull the brush smoothly through the hair and keep the sections manageable - no larger in width than the brush, or you could end up with a tangled up brush in your hair! 

The final result. This almost looks like a different cut compared to when I let my hair dry naturally. It's much fuller with a decent blow dry. You will notice the difference in your hair when you dry it this way rather than blasting it with the dryer.

The iconic forties victory rolls are everywhere at the moment. Popular, but so very versatile as you can really vary the look depending on how and where you place them on the head. In a perfect world when you do rolls, or up do hairstyles, you’d leave your hair unwashed for at least 24 hours, but I know that’s not always possible in today’s busy world. If you’re out and about in the hot sun, getting soaked in the rain or have been working out for example you want to reach for the shampoo. The Tigi product I used prior to blow drying had given my hair volume and texture and using the round brush had given it a boost at the roots. So although I’m working with clean hair rather than day old hair, I’ve given myself the best starting point possible.

I also use Batiste XXL dry shampoo as it not only gives extra oomph, but also gives the hair an extra texture. For this style you can just apply a few short blasts just at the roots around the top of the hair and rub in well. 

I've dried my hair with a side parting, so taking the tail of my comb to get a neat section, I work from the parting and down to the top of my ear (towards the side that has the most hair)



You can just clip the hair your not using out of the way. Then split this top section so you have two smaller sections, and back comb the front piece starting at the roots.

This is my concentration face..
Then back comb the other piece. This is giving a firm foundation to the victory roll and makes the hair a coarser texture that can be shaped easier.


Back comb from behind and don't back comb all the way to the to the ends. Spray the back combing using a hairspray that has a good hold, and then gently using the comb (I'm using a pintail bristle comb ) bring the pieces together and gently brush the hair to smooth. You're not trying to get the teeth of the comb through the hair, you're just skimming it over the top of the hair.



To create the roll I wrap the hair around two fingers (If your hair is shorter you can try using your thumb or one finger) Take your time and tuck in any ends as you go. Once you have a firm 'loop' of hair, you can slide your fingers out and holding the loop of hair roll down towards the head.


If you find that your getting lots of sticking out bits that you cant tuck in /control, then you could use a pair of curling tongs on this section.This would make the hair want to curl together when you roll it.

 I didn't for this style and can normally get away with out adding curl. Another option would be that you could pop in a large heated roller to this section, but you'll need to allow about 20 mins for it to cool before taking it out.

Because I'm just doing one big roll that I want to place at the front of my head I want to turn the loop once I start getting near my head so I can place it in position. In the picture above the loop is facing the mirror in the collage below I'm turning turning the loop and moving it forward to face the direction of the camera. 

You need to keep hold of that loop and keep the centre as a hole, as you can see by the third picture above the roll is facing the camera and I'm using my finger in the centre of the roll to keep the shape. Don't worry about fly away hairs at this stage, those all get fixed at the end.

Doing this roll does take a bit of practice, but I promise you that once you have cracked it, you'll be able to do this in minutes! 


Almost there with the shape, just neaten by gently skimming your comb over the top of the roll. Then place a couple of Kirby grips in the hair where the the hole of the roll is. Use the Kirby grips to anchor the roll in to position. You can smooth any fly aways using a pomade or hairspray. If using hair spray you can then use a hair dryer when the spray is wet on the hair to blow the fly aways down.

Kirby grips anchor the roll

So I now have a roll. As I'm keeping my hair straight and leaving it down, it needs to accessorised to balance it out. I've used three hair flowers, but you could just use one.

There's that concentration face again

So there you go, using forties style inspiration to create a look on freshly blow dried hair. 

If you give this a go, I'd love to see a picture!


Visit the GHD website for more info on the new GHD Air hair dryer
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25.7.12

Let the games begin.......



Now I do have to admit that in all honesty, I wish we weren't hosting the games, I feel it's a massive expense that quite frankly the country could have done without. I also object to the fact that a fast food company are massively sponsoring the event.............However, I am a patriotic kind of girl and of course I do want Team GB to do well and bring home the gold. But It has just become so commercial, and whilst I understand these things cost money I thought we'd take a look back at the 1948 Olympics, which are often referred to as the 'austerity games'. 

These were the first games to be televised, people and cities were still scarred by the war and rationing continued, which would have made eating the right diet to train tricky, although whale meat is said to have helped.... I've read of athletes who needed to go to work not spend hours training so they deliberately took on incredibly physical jobs like shovelling coal to build muscle and stamina. 

Interestingly it seems there were no new buildings created for the 1948 games, not even to house the athletes. It was a real make the most of what we have affair, with athletes being housed in RAF bases. I realise that the games are now a much more global affair, but is that partly the result of the super commercialism of the games?.... hmmmm. 

Despite the 1948 times of austerity the games were a tremendous success and I can't help but think if we'd taken some time to reflect back on how the 1948 games were hosted, as a country, we could have really changed the future of the Olympic games and made it much more about the world pulling together for what is an amazing sporting event and not this whole ' bigger and better than ever' type of affair. An almost back to basics celebration of human achievement. In a years time will it be easier to name the medal winners or the sponsors? Which will we have to wiki? Exactly.

But let's take a look at some of the athletes of the 1948 austerity games, before they were clad in lycra and all manner of  performance enhanced man made materials. Let's go back to the days of vests and pants, which lets be honest you don't need to have lived through 1948 to remember. Apologies to those readers now having flashbacks to P.E lessons at first school..........

Former land girl Edna Childs Spring board diver made sixth place (flying the GB flag)

Dutch athlete Francina ''Fanny'' Elsje Blankers-Koen also referred to as ''The flying housewife'' won all four sprint event she entered.
American Bob Mathias was just a wee nipper aged just seventeen when he won the decathlon. He'd taken the sport up just four months previously! 
Talented French pianist Micheline Ostermeyer scooped two golds and a bronze
The  Czechoslovakian gymnastics team.
For more amazing images and facts on the 1948 games (and all the other years) you can visit:



Above all let's hope for a successful and peaceful games. Good luck to all! 

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16.7.12

Return of the Mac



Return of the mac? I'm sure it's never really gone away, especially not with the weather we're having in the UK right now. A good classic rain mac has become a wardrobe essential. Practical but stylish and should the temperatures suddenly rise, which at the moment the seem to do so by the hour, then you can easily throw it over your arm and carry it without too much faff. Some will be rain proof, others just drizzle proof but either way they are a practical piece of kit and look just as fab over a dress, as they do when teamed with a pair of skinny jeans and a T shirt.



I adore my mac, for all of the reasons mentioned above. I bought it a few years ago from Primark and it's served me well indeed.

2010

2012

So if you have the urge to or the need to invest in a coat suitable for our temperamental summer or dare I say it warm autumn days.... then a good neutral coloured mac is a great wardrobe investment. New or vintage? They do quite often pop up in charity shops, so well worth keeping your eyes peeled. We all know charity shop prices can vary but you should be able to pick a good one up and have change from a tenner. (it's probably not going to be a Burberry - unless you're REALLY lucky) Of course what your budget is for such an investment is your decision.....

La Redoute £18 (was £35)


Miss Selfridge petites £65

For a twist on a classic I absolutely *love* this cape. Lots.

La Redoute £75


Topshop £79

And if you've hundreds to spend?............... then you could invest in the Daddy (or should that be the Mummy??) of macs which is of course a Burberry.

Burberry £895

*swoon*

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5.7.12

Decked Out for Summer


When I started planning this post I was thinking boats, perhaps not Cannes but I do live minutes away from the river so whilst sailing the ocean waves was never on the cards, prancing next to the river should have been. But this is Britain and why should it be sunny? In summer? Hmmm. So instead I bring you one pair of shoes and several different outfits. Probably for the best the post has worked out this way, as I was once quite sea sick on a pedalo. It *could* have been the rum punches, but I’m sure it was actually the sea….

So if I can’t do boats and truthfully, I really don’t think they are for me….. can I still do nautical? Of course, in fact I love it. I’m barely out of stripes at the moment, if you’ve seen me in real life (I’m real!) over the last few weeks you will have noticed that I am loving the nautical look come rain or shine. You may also have seen me whizzing around in these –



Now I both love and require a good flat shoe. I’m always on the go and whilst I do have great affection for a beautiful heel, I’m often walking out and about so heels just aren’t a practical option. Just because I like to wear flats most of the time I still want them to be stylish AND practical. So I’ve been trying out these navy deck shoes with various pieces of my wardrobe and they’ve proven to be a very versatile ‘go to’ piece of footwear.

Bit of a preppy look with a nautical silk headscarf for a roackabilly twist.

50s pin up hair and candy stripes, some one hand me a cocktail. With an umbrella.

One of my favourite kinds of looks. 80s does 40s. 

More stripes. 

Picnic essentials, blanket to sit on, jacket to keep the chill away and shoes suitable for running for shelter!
These particular ones are by Chatham Marine, and are the Atlantis model (are shoes models? They should be!) They don’t just cater for us gals either,so chaps you  can also work the nautical look this summer! Like any decent pair of leather shoes, they do need to be broken in, but they are incredibly soft to wear making them comfy, stylish and practical, so some essential boxes ticked there for me!

*written in collaboration with Chatham.co.uk

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3.7.12

June in Pictures

So that's another months gone! Apologies for no blog post on Monday this week but I took myself away for a long weekend that turned in to a food and drinkfest. I'll need a day or two to get over it! I'm just in love with the Instagram app at the moment, as someone who adores photography I think it just rocks quite frankly and if you haven't down loaded it yet, do!

So if a picture tells a thousand words.............. June was mostly saying eat, drink and be merry.......



Outfit wise, I'm loved polka dots, nautical stripes, red, white and blue.....



Social wise, well it's was a flurry of events.....


Hopefully June was a good month for you too, surely July must see some sunnier days?............. I've sunglasses and dresses that need to be taken out to play! .......
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