Wednesday, 22 June 2011

What hair colour can you use with Chemo

I encourage all my clients to contact me if they have any queries and this was one regarding hair colour and chemo:

I have just had been operated on for bowel cancer and thought that was all that I needed but found out on Friday that it has spread a bit and that I have to have chemo. Lots of things have been going through my mind but in typical girl fashion I have now got to worrying about my hair! My type of chemo means it won't fall out but I have been told that I can't dye it. I am so grey and it will look shocking after 6 months and then maybe longer. I know you aren't an agony aunt but as I know you I thought that I'd drop you a line to see what you think about colouring hair. I thought your idea of coloured mousse was a really good one.... What are the herbal ones like and can you use any aveda dyes?

With regards to your query...I have just started using a semi-permanent colour made by Goldwell and it does cover grey pretty well though not 100% which can be better as the line (regrowth) is not so apparent, however it blends and that creates a softer regrowth line...Here are two links that you can read a bit more about their products...I have used the Elumen on one of my clients who has a very sensitive scalp and she is very pleased with the colour and results:

Yes, coloured mousse also will of some value however no product the is not permanent will lift the can only hope for some coverage...I am not familiar with Aveda colouring products however they do have some information on their website and generally the technicians in the salons are is a link if you have not had a chance to read it:

How to create a ageless eye making the most out of a Nars Mambo Pencil

I recently had a client who contacted me after we spent a day together. She wanted a refresher on how I help women creat an ageless is what I wrote back:

Creating a perfect ageless eye using Mambo Pencil by Nars:

I do appreciate your interest to making the Mambo pencil last longer. Firstly the sharper the pencil the better job it does...when I first use the Nars pencil no matter have sharp it may appear I take a clean tissue and gently made sure that the tip is as much of a point as I can get it without sharpening it...ideally one of the reasons  is the sharper the pencil the easier and more effective the pencil will be. I want you to put it on the inside of the rim of the eye. You will find that when the intensity of the colour dissipates it should go to the roots of the lashes and create an illusion that they are a bit is also one of those realities that nothing stays on the face as much as we wish...hence why photos of models and celebs look so good as they are generally always shot close up just after someone like me as made they look perfect...which is how you should feel once you have first done your lining....If you want to try edging it a bit more at the rim of base of the lashes you may find that will give a longer lasting effect...It is about trying to apply it so it is working its way into the lashes...when I first apply this, even if it stains that inside part of the rim of the eye a bit,  it takes the fleshiness away and that is also something that I am trying to achieve by using this method. You may notice that it is natural to tear that may make it dissipate and there is not a product out on the market that will do better than Mambo.

Again there is no reason that you can’t repeat this throughout the day...I know my wife always does her makeup in the morning then a touch-up after lunch and at the end of the day before she comes home and the repeated application does make her lashes look that bit fuller and the rim of the lash line still does have mambo on it...

Another reason I don’t like putting the liner on the outside is it ends up always looking like a line as it gets in the way with the lashes. You will more easily understand what I am explaining if you can look at someone who does do this and it is simply aging to me. Also, as one gets more lines around our eyes it ends up going into them and doesn’t creates the same ageless effect as my method....I hope I have been of some help in explaining myself....

Monday, 20 June 2011


The beaches beckon, the sun loungers await, the yachts are ready to cast off from their moorings - but are you? The annual agony of picking a swimsuit may also be in view, so here's some advice that might help you become the beach babe you really are!
The ideal would be to have at least three swimsuits, so they can 'rest' in between a day's wear. Include a cheaper swimsuit if you plan to go swimming: salt water and chlorine kill the fabric.
 If you have any lumps or bumps, go for ruching. - on the front if you have a tummy, on the side to camouflage any rolls. If you have a bust, look for makes such as Bravissimo or, my favourite, Gottex. You should be able to find both either in Harrods or Rigby and Peller. It's worth noting that the latter has swimwear available throughout the year for those winter sun breaks. Wolford also now have some lovely swimwear and so does Issa, the Brazilian designer now world famous for Kate Middleton's engagement dress. I think the printed pieces that Issa designs are always very clever as the contrasting prints takes the attention away from the hip.
As to shape, here are my guidelines:
  • The more leg you want to create, the higher the cut
  •  Prints confuse the eye so are ideal for a less than perfect shape - and, as I have said before, the smaller the women, the smaller the print should be;bigger women should go for a bigger print. Have the print on the part of the body you want to diminish. I love the asymmetrical kaftan dress from Pistol Panties at  
  • If you have bust, go for a soft cup so you have support and either a scoop or Deep V neck style and play up your waist. I think a soft short cover-up can even solve any arm issues. Gottex Podium  is one of my favourites for swimwear designs.
  • If you have a small bust, you can take a straight bandeaux or try a two piece with a frill top to add more interest such as one from Chillie at  £31.2
  • If you are pear-shaped, go for a sweetheart or scoop top rather than a V-shape. Also try a two piece with a more eye catching print on top and small bikini even in a solid colour on the bottom to keep the eye looking up. Or try a swimdress style that finishes at your widest point on the thigh. 
  • Avoid halters if you have wide-shoulders and look for a square top or deep V-necks with wide straps.
  • Now add lots of bangles, flat sandals or there are some very pretty raffia wedges around this year. 
  • Chose a wide-brimmed hat - particularly if you are an older lady - big sunglasses and a bright lipstick, and you will look like a movie star!
  • Think about your cover-up. Sarongs are hugely versatile: you can sling them around your waist and create a maxi dress; wrap from front to back, then back again under your bust to make a dress; or bunch from back to the front, twist over and tie behind your neck.
As you tan, so you can wear brighter colours - and don't be afraid of white. A client I took shopping last week is 5 feet 9 inches and very pear-shaped (a size 12 on top and, after three children, a size 16 on the hip). We headed into Anthropologie where we found a sleek cropped denim by Citizens of Humanity with a great high rise which held her tummy in and made bending over not a scary experience  that looked terrific with tunic tops. What was interesting was that the trouser in white lifted her, whereas the blue denim made her look heavy. And the great thing about white - or khaki or mustard - is that they all look good with any of the summer colours and crazy prints.
Men too can struggle; especially if you are trapped in the Speedo or Cargo syndrome...My adice is simple. For a more manly approach to looking great by the pool try one that is either a cropped short style or one to just above the knee.

May 2011 my 21st newsletter, so I'm going back to my roots!

Welcome to my 21st newsletter. I've just glanced back through previous 'issues' and see that I have covered so many aspects of the way women can enhance their look, staying not only on trend but also in keeping with their body shape and colouring. With the recent royal wedding I know how much focus we do place on big events as special days require special attention to every detail. One very important element on which, strangely, I haven't concentrated much is hair.  This is odd only because this is where I started - my original training was in the US with Sassoon - and I still work on clients' hair along with their make-up and styling. 

What reminded me to raise the subject was a recent trip to Cardiff. I thoroughly enjoyed presenting spring fashion shows there at the end of April and was delighted that the audiences were so responsive. Afterwards I retreated for a celebratory Martini at Cardiff's five star St David's Hotel. As my wife and my friends will tell you, I am very particular about my Martini, and I felt that the St David's would probably get it right. After a little persuasion, they did. As I sipped it with pleasure at the bar, I was caught by the style of the early guests arriving for dinner. The ladies had all put thought into their dresses and accessories. BUT not one of them had made a similar effort with their hair. As a result, from the neck up they looked like housewives! There's no excuse. There are now a plethora of 'blow outs' on offer in both stores and salons. So, when you next have a night out, book a 'blow' to ensure that your hair properly completes your look. 

Of course, as with clothes, length and proportion are everything. Kylie Minogue is elfin, so even though she is a small woman she can wear big hair. Her very high heels help lengthen her. But big hair on a short woman who is chubby can make her look dumpy.

If you have decent hair - thick and a good colour - it's a shame not to wear your hair long, even though it may require constant maintenance. It's feminine and it is versatile. You can pull it into a chignon at the nape of your neck, and maybe add ornaments, or give it a late Victorian or early 20s feel, or even go for a French pleat, in 50s Gigi style. If your hair is straight, use tongs to create that curly dishevelled look. 

An aside: I noticed with interest that the latest trend in nail polishes is a crackled effect, rather like the surface of a fine old painting. Will it become a classic varnish - or vanish? 

Otherwise, I'm seeing a lot of white this summer; acres of empire-line maxi dresses and plenty of sheer fabrics, which I think, are particularly beautiful. This diaphanous look is very feminine. Worth trying are the new shifts that tie gently around the waist, skimming over the lumps and bumps. Soft low cowl necklines are also flattering. I particularly like one from Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood at £335.00 at Liberty’
Sleeve length is important too. If you have good arms, go sleeveless. If not, opt for a cardigan as a way of covering the armpit. I see that Madonna, who has always been into body maintenance, has built muscle but because she is thin, has a stringy look to her arms. Better then to camouflage!

With my footnote on men...David Beckham looked dashing and very modern and should be every man’s compass for looking great, especially when he wears his medal on the right side!

I hope this gives you some inspiration as it appears that it is going to one very long lovely summer!

April 2011: It's all about The Dress!

Am I talking about the royal bride? Everyone else is. No, I'm talking about your dress for a major must-wear-a-hat occasion! So we are talking about a smart wedding, the stands of the Queen's Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour), the royal or stewards' enclosures at Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta and the like.

These are the times when you forget 'edgy' and go for full blown classic glamour. This does not mean dowdy or frumpy. It means elegant - and attention to detail. Think Carla Bruni-Sarkosy, Catherine Zeta-Jones or Princess Michael of Kent.

I have styled not only the bride but also the bridesmaids, mothers and aunties at a number of weddings over the years, and can therefore suggest the following with some authority:
There are some marvellous dresses around at the moment. Choose one to suit your shape and don't feel compelled to go for pastel shades unless they particularly suit your colouring. Black may be chic but remember it's also the standard for funerals and it is frowned upon at royal events.         
I found a darling dress in an off-white crepe in Joseph last week (crepe is perfect because it does not cling). It has an inverted pleat falling from under the bust-line that softens the tummy and flattering sleeves reaching just below the elbow. And it is very reasonable at £313.00.
Hobbs has a range of sheath dresses, mostly around £130. A recent client of mine had both a memorial service and a 90th birthday party to attend. We chose a sheath in soft black and grey fleck that would go from day into evening at now £99.00. It has a rounded neck, perfect for her slightly pear-shaped figure, and a structure under the bust creating an empire-line that flattered her waist. It also had a matching jacket in the same fabric at now £84.00 so useful in our climate.

But remember, for royal events there is a dress code:, avoid very short skirts (at Henley, the skirt should cover the knee!), narrow straps and fascinators since they are not considered to be a proper hat. There's no need to try too hard. Keep it simple. With the dress chosen, consider the hat. If you have a fairly simple line to your dress you can take a statement hat. Even if it is not a Royal event, avoid fascinators. They are - oh I'm going to say it - old hat! Consider carefully before choosing a very dark hat with a brim. The shadow across your face may not be flattering. 

Tall and big girls can wear big brimmed hats. Smaller women should seek   narrow brims - and wear them at an angle, never straight and never, ever on the back of the head.
Next, check your earrings. Long and dangly probably won't work! Dress your hair appropriately. Think of putting it up under the hat if it is long, or at a medium length, tuck it behind your ears. Short and curly hair can be styled             around the hat. Keep your glasses simple - sunglasses similarly.
The trend at the moment is for statement handbags, the bigger the better. But on this occasion, opt for a bag that doesn't dominate your look. A simple clutch or neat shoulder bag would be fine.

Wear the lightest denier tights or stockings. Few people have such perfect legs that they would look good on such a formal occasion. They also guard against blisters from new shoes.

If you are going to an event where there is an uneven surface - a race course, regatta or reception in a marquee in a garden or field - refrain from wearing high spindly heels, however glamorous. You will just look silly when you get stuck in the turf. Consider a dressy wedge that gives stability, but avoid raffia or fabric, they will collect moisture! I love DVF wedges at £260.00 as they are a neutral colour and have as I always point out ”a nice finish”. 

Lastly, your make-up, I love Nars lip colors as I have introduced many of my clients to his many shades. One of my new favorites is called Frivolous. The chances are you will have photographs being taken so keep it natural but use a strong lip colour.  I suggest for this spring and summer tangerine coloured lip glosses, they work for a real lift and add plenty of mascara as I always say, three coats is my best rule.
Happy Spring!