Diarmuid Gavin’s tower for Westland Horticulture won a a silver medal at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and the Most Creative Show Garden prize, but it has split the opinions of critics. Personally, I have still not made up my mind whether I ‘like’ it or not, but it is most certainly a very impressive structure and was a huge amount of fun to be able to experience it!
Paul Percival and Adam Reed, both worldly acclaimed hairdressers each with a long list of loyal A-list clients, joined forces in 2007 to bring what they had learnt from their years of experience and make it available to everyone through creating an original brand called Percy and Reed.
On the ‘About us‘ section of their website Percy and Reed tell us about the creation of this brand and how what they have accomplished makes them feel rather proud, and they certainly have every right to be, they have been featured in countless magazine and press articles, including the likes of Vogue and Glamour, and won many awards, including the recent: Red Best of Beauty 2012, and they where the hair styling team behind TV programs like The X Factor and Britain’s Next Top Model.
As well as their products being featured, they also won a Hair Award for best London Salon in 2010, so I booked myself in for a some colour and a cut, and went to check it out.
Their salon is on Great Portland Street (more details here) just a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus. However, my Percy and Reed experience started two days before my appointment when I was asked to come in for a patch test. This blew me away a little bit – I have had my hair coloured many times in a variety of places and never once have I been asked to do a patch test before. So I was really impressed at this dedication to the safety and comfort of their clients.
The salon is an intimate, but spacious 12 chair area, and the first thing that struck me was the use of warm lighting, combined with ample natural light, ensuring that the stylists can work well, but it wasn’t the harsh, bright white lighting that salons often use, that just seems to highlight how long it has been since I last had my mane tamed and how long my roots are! Which also added to the very comfortable and relaxed environment of the salon.
The decor inside is simple, but really effective, there is lots of natural wood, quirky light fittings and the odd bird cage. There is no clutter around the salon as all the storage space is hidden and tucked away. Around the salon there are also beautiful flower arrangements, consisting of wildflowers in mismatch vintage glassware which I adored.
Right…. I could write pages on how beautiful the salon is so lets move on to the actual salon expirence!
On arrival your offered a drink that comes in it a cute little wicker tray complete with a couple of mini packets of love hearts!
(Later followed by Millionaire Shortbread!)
You then meet your stylist and talk through what you would like, this consultation was done in a way where they listen to your ideas first which was fantastic. We also talked about the type of dye that they where going to use, and they offer using a bleach free lightener which has a more creamy texture and doesn’t damage your hair in the way bleach based dyes can.
The salon was buzzing with talk of this seasons London Fashion Week, that starts later this week, following their success in 2011 styling hair for the House of Holland catwalk show, and this year Percy and Reed had started their fashion season with Berlin Fashion Week in February.
The work was professional and quick, always ensured that I was a part of the process, as well as providing expert advice on hair care and styling tips, especially for styles that use heat or teasing which can damage your hair if it is not properly protected. Although this advice used their products as examples, and they told me about their products during my appointment this was done in a very non-pressurising way, which is a breath of fresh air.
A little note about the hair wash basins…
I normally really dislike the part where they wash your hair, I’ve always found it really uncomfortable, especially on my neck. However, these ones have padded neck rests on them, and the chairs have raisable foot rests and then you get a little head massage as well.
The stylist then blowed dried my hair so it was long and smooth, not something I’m used to, but it meant that she could make sure the cut was sitting well and take of some extra to frame my face better and thin it out where it looked a bit heavy. I also really liked the blow dry – it might be a style that I use more often now!
So I am immensely pleased with the results, and had really relaxing and enjoyable experience at their salon!
The final result (even after a trip through the London underground)!
A Little bit about some of their products.
In the run up to visiting their salon I have been using some of the Percy and Reed hair care range and I thought I’d share a few of my favourite pampering treats and styling products with you!
Totally TLC Hydrating Mask: Those of you who have been Deeper Dazzle readers for a little while will know that I have been searching for a hair mask that works, I even tried out a variety of experiments with natural, home made hair masks (see post here). Now I do believe that I have found a keeper! It is easy to use, smells amazing and comes with a cute, bird print bonnet, designed by Jessica May Underwood, but most importantly it really works and leaves you with wonderfully soft hair.
Smoothed, Sealed and Sensational No Oil, Oil: This comes in two different forms, one for thin, and one for thick hair. It’s great for adding volume to your hair whilst also taming frizzy hair to give you a smooth finish, and also if you put it through damp hair before you style, it helps protect against any heat damage.
No-Fuss Flawless Dry Conditioner: I’ve heard a lot about (and love) dry shampoo, but never really about dry conditioner, so when I found this beauty I was really excited. As the ends and mid lengths of my hair get very dry and dull looking in between washes, this product helps revitalise my hair and put the shine back into it (and smells great as a added bonus!).
On Saturday, as a Christmas present, some of the girls from my family had a trip to see The Sleeping Beauty Ballet at the Royal Opera House (ROH) in London.
This production is now well into it’s run at the ROH and was superb! The original sets by Oliver Messel have been restored by Peter Farmer, and innovative costumes, inspired by Messel’s original designs. The sets give grandeur to the stage and in the latter part of the performance the use of layering of gauze-like material gave it and ethereal feel which complemented the fairy tale theme of the ballet. The costumes have been inspired by Messel’s original designs, were gorgeous and the ballerinas tutus moved and flowed so beautifully with the dancers which only enhanced their elegance and grace.
On this performance Marianela Nuñez played Princess Aurora beautifully, and was a perfect match dancing with Thiago Soares, an expressive Prince Florimund. However, for me, the dancer that really shone was First Soloist of the Royal Ballet, Claire Clavert who played the Lilac Fairy and danced stunningly and her mime was really exceptional and provided a key part of being able to follow the plot. In the final act of the Wedding scene there are several pas de deux (French for steps of two, so a couple dancing) performed by characters from other fairy tales. Firstly there was Puss in Boots and his Mrs who danced incredible well together and the incorporation of cat-like movements and characteristics in the dancing (as well as fantastic costumes) added some humor to this final scene, which I really did enjoy. This was followed by the Blue Bird pas de deux, was really outstanding.
A picture of my little sister and me by the Christmas tree in the Crush Bar in the ROH. It should be said that my little sisters classic Christmas dress is from the French children’s boutique – Bonpoint, which my mother found on e-bay! My jumpsuit was featured in my last post and both the jumpsuit and jacket are vintage, matched with my new favorite Vivienne Westwood shoes.
A bit on the history of this classic ballet:
It’s a Ballet of a prologue and 3 acts, as was originally based on the 1697 story La Belle au bois Dormant (The Sleeping Beauty) by Charles Perrault. Marius Petipa first choreographed this ballet in 1890 in Russia, to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Opus 66 score, and was first performed in the Marrinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.
Sleeping Beauty was first performed by the Royal Ballet Company in 1945 and has since become a classic performance for the company. In 2006 Monica Mason revived the performance using the original Oliver Messel sets which have been restored by Peter Farmer, and the costumes used in the performance have been updated and inspired by Messel’s original designs. This background to the ballet especially interested me as my Godmother has family links with Messel.
Obviously I was unable to take photos of the performance, but you can see the official photos here:
So this week in the run up to Christmas to all you dazzlers – Merry Christmas!
I live in a shared house of 7 wonderful young ladies, and recently hair has been a common topic of convocation: colour, cut style, fringe?, no fringe?, health, damage, and wanting it to grow faster. Several of us have gone though hippy stages of not washing our hair, hoping the natural oils would keep it healthy, we’ve tried home made hair masks, deep conditioning treatments, between us products galore! – and we’ve gone most of the colours in the rainbow.
So I thought I would share some of our findings on home made hair masks:
I’ve read a lot of blogs recently raving about making your own hair masks out of everyday ingredients, talking about how they are chemical free and are eco-friendly as you don’t use plastic bottles. However, after reading some of the comments on the articles, I questioned just how great they where, so thought I would try a few of the most popular ones out.
Trial 1: Egg and Olive Oil hair mask.
Ingredients: 2 eggs, 4 table spoons of olive oil.
Directions: Mix the ingredients together, apply to hair and wrap it in plastic (cling film) and leave on your hair for 10-15 minutes.
My first impressions of this was that it was really gooey, it kept running down the side of my face and down the back of my neck, no matter how tightly I wrapped the plastic round my head! It was also really uncomfortable to sit there with plastic wrapped round my head for 15 minutes.
Now before I tell you the rest of this I would like to let you know that I was doing this quite late at night, and was very tired, so my brain wasn’t quite working properly.
So after 15 minutes I got in the (nice and hot) shower to wash my hair, when I started to feel lumps in my hair, then I started to smell a rather weird smell, that I could only liken to the cooking of scrambled eggs. Yes I’m afraid to say the water from my shower had cooked the egg in my hair. So using a lot of shampoo and conditioner and a comb I managed to get it all out, however overall it left my hair feeling greasy, and very tangled. Now I’m probably slightly biased as it cooked in my hair, but I will NEVER put egg in my hair again. Feel free to try it if you wish, but PLEASE wash it out with cool water!
Trial 2: The Banana hair mask.
Ingredients: 1 mashed banana, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of honey, and 5 tablespoons of olive oil.
Directions: Mix all the ingredients together, and apply evenly to hair, and leave for 15-30minutes.
I thought about the idea of the egg cooking in my hair, along with the banana and didn’t really want to test this one out. However, I have read a lot of comments on blogs that this mask can actually make your hair very tangled, and feel dry.
Trial 3: The Avocado hair mask.
Ingredients: 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Directions: Mash up the avocado and then mix it together with the honey and olive oil and apply all over your hair, for 20 minutes, then was out with shampoo.
Its a bit gooey and thick which makes it quite hard to put through your hair, and when I shampooed my hair it felt quite tangled. So I put conditioner through my hair and combed it through and it was very soft!
So combined with using conditioner it did leave my hair in good condition but it was tricky to put evenly through my hair and very hard to get it out!
Trial 4: Olive Oil.
Directions: apply olive oil to mid lengths and ends, wrap hair in plastic wrap for 45 minutes to and hour, or put a towel over your pillow and leave overnight.
This is the best one so far, and leaves your hair soft. The best way to wash it out is to shampoo onto dry hair with a little water so it lathers, wash well and rinse, then re-shampoo and conditioner. Although this works well its worth keeping in mind that this is not a very economical hair mask, Olive Oil is more expensive then shop bought intensive conditioning treatments, and quite messy to use, but on the other hand works very well.
The fifth and final trial: Apple cider vinegar.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, 1 cup of water, 2 drops of you favourite essential oil (optional).
Directions: mix the ingredients together and after shampooing and conditioning your hair pour the rinse over your hair and comb through with a wide tooth comb.
For the essential oil I used lavender oil, because I love the smell and it’s supposed to be good for hair growth. To begin with I smelled like a chip shop, but as it dries the smell goes and you can’t smell the vinegar once your hair is dry, and it’s easy to use- I was really surprised at how soft my hair was – really impressed with this one.
Yes I’m aware the Big Chill was a while ago – I’m sorry not to keep more on top of posting – it’s been a pretty manic summer!
What an amazing weekend and the rain mostly held off (Hurray!) as one of the smaller main festivals it’s a relaxed fantastic environment- and very family friendly. So I went with some of my close family and my fiancé – we started if the weekend with Empire of the Sun followed by The Chemical brothers, which was an amazing set and we got very close to the front. Following that we saw top acts from Katy B, Devlin, Kanye West, Example (Amazing set), Calvin Harris, To many DJs, and my new favourites: The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble who use classical instruments to create acoustic dance music by combing classical and techno music. Love it! Check them out bellow:
Also Empire of the Sun on the main stage at Deer Park.
The main thing that I LOVE about the festival is that there are a variety of different areas to the site which all have different music playing and atmospheres. Our favourite area quickly became the Enchanted Garden which (or as dubbed it ‘the hippy area’) where we found some great food from all round the world and the Therapy and Chill field where Harry and I had a massage, which was brilliant, nut a very strange experience as you can hear the bass from the main field!
Family chilling in a ‘hippy yurt’ eating Mexican food.
The festival has a real Eco friendly ethos with the ‘Leave No Trace’ campaign going, using “guess how many cans in the wire frame” (below) to raise awareness for recycling.
There is a really atmosphere of fun and freedom, and some CRAZY outfits we found a Indian Chief style headdress which became a staple wardrobe item for the weekend.
Because of course all Indian Chiefs go round pretending to be lions….
Doing the YMCA outside the Revellers Tent in the headdress feeling quite like The Village People.
(Yes I am aware the ‘C’ is the wrong way round in the photo!)
There are also a variety of shops including some really nice vintage boutiques- where I found this beautiful headband, typically I can’t remember the name but if anyone knows where they are from please let me know!
The bear hat:
The bear hat has been a most treasured possession ever since I saw it in a River Island window nearly a year ago, this was another wardrobe staple item for the weekend – here are some of the best ‘bear hat photos’ from the weekend.
Fiancé – Harry (in the hat), and Brother – Guy in the Revellers tent after Katy B and Devlin.
Bear Hat’s Debut screen appearance during Example’s fantastic set.
Which was very loud….
On leaving the campsite Harry and I had some fun with some giant flouting balls:
And although it was a very long journey home, with a lot of sleeping on the train it was a AMAZING festival- my favourite so far, if you get the chance GO!
Harry wrapped in a blanket waiting for the last train home.