Tried & Tested @ The Herald: Groom-o-rama

This is a piece about some serious grooming tools to spruce you up for 2014.

The intro, however, applies to a splurge-o-rama piece I wrote, in conjunction with a best value column, and neither seem to have made an appearance on t’internet. Ah, well. My weekly reviews appear on Tuesdays, if you want to be all analogue about it.

Below please find the foot-care extravaganza that is the Emjoi MICRO Pedi 12 Piece Gift Set.
I hate feet, but love this. Just goes to show: keep an open mind, and you too can wear shoes with an open toe.


Soz, still jet lagging and a bit bonkers with it.


Hair of the Yesterday, Today: BaByLiss Big Hair meets L’Oréal Techni Art Fresh Dust

Actually, this is Wednesday night/slept-on-it hair, so it’s Hair of the Yesterday + even more hours.


I don’t look convinced, but I really am.

So, what did I do? I used Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner, because I knew I was going to be sleeping on The Hair, and wanted the kind of fullness that this duo impart. When I dried it on the night, I HOTY l'orealspritzed in some of the new John Frieda Luxurious Volume Blow Dry Lotion Root Booster on, unsurprisingly, the roots, and the Ojon rare blend oil: Total Hair Therapy on the ends. Now, I gotta say, a little bit of that goes along way. Axiomatic, I know, but so true. In fact, a little too much is way too much. Loving the shine, but not liking the feeling of limpness that I get when I use too much oil.

Okay! Dried it that magical 80%, BaByLissed it, twisted it up in a knot, went to sleep.

Awoke, and immediately hit the roots and the lengths with L’Oréal’s dry shampoo, Tecni Art Fresh Dust, then fired up the Big Hair and gave it all a twirl. Was very pleased, but was too busy to take a selfie, and so was not pleased. I had promised!

Imagine my surprise when I awoke this a.m. I thought, Nah, there’s no point in trying to revive this — or is there? I mean, I had twisted The Hair into a knot the night before — but I had had a full day in a office, and office-air is just so deadening for the tresses — but sure, why not, let’s see…

And so, I am pleased once more. For the sake of argument:


As well: time to maybe test Color Wow Root Cover Up


John Frieda® Blow Dry Lotion Root Booster, €6.31
L’Oréal Techni Art Fresh Dust, €11.85


HOTD: Ojon, Babyliss, and The New Hair

I got The Hair cut last week, and I’ve been struggling to figure it out.

As much as I was loving the extreme length, and the ease of care — flip the head forward, dry it in no minutes flat, then lash through it with a flat iron — the ends were dead, basically, and it felt a little flat around my face.

But I loved the length. But the ends were dead. But, but, but.


In another narrative strand {LOL} there was the BaByLiss Big Hair Airstyler {€56} I had sitting in the drawer. I was doin’ it rong, or something, because my hair was not in the least bit enbiggened by it. I did all the things they said to do — dry it a bit with a conventional dryer, divide it into sections, apply the Big Hair, one section at time — and it wasn’t working. I had even got over the fear that I was going to tangle the bejeeziz out of The Hair and have to cut the scary rotating electric brush out of a big hank of it, but there’s no worry there: if you do tangle it, you merely take your thumb off the button and stop the rotating electric part.

That was grand, but I didn’t end up with the mahoosive shiny barnet as shown in all the Big Hair videos. Hmmm. I mean, it was right there on youtube, it must be true.

With the new cut, especially with its new layers, the day I tried to do it the old way was a bad, sad hair day. So I broke out the BaByLiss, and some new Ojon styling products I wanted to try, and gave it go. HOTD 28 05 ojon

Both come under the rare blend umbrella. In the past, Ojon have responsibly sourced the oils that infuse their products, from the Central American rainforest. In this new line, they are casting their net wider to include oils from Tahiti, the Kalahari, and various locations in Africa, thus presumably establishing their sustainable business practice on a larger scale.

First up, the deep conditioner {€34} an intensive repair treatment that is a double threat of restorative oils and nourishing conditioner. It dispenses in two different colours, which you mix together in your palm. The texture feels really rich and thick, and isn’t too terribly fussy to use as it only requires 2-3 minutes {as opposed to the completely impractical, nay, impossible, 10-15 some deep conditioners recommend.}

Next up came the rare blend oil: Total Hair Therapy * {€34}. This one is a treble threat of Amber, Crystal and Red oils that, when mixed together, are meant to nourish, repair and smooth. Okay, I’m up for that. Shook it, and applied just a tiny bit: it provided as much coverage as I needed, and it didn’t feel too oily on my fingers. Cool!

Now for the heat. I had been advised by a pal that I was indeed doin’ the BaByliss rong, and that I needed to really dry my hair, like 80%, before messing with the scary rotating electric brush. I followed this advice. Regarde.

HOTD 28 05 the hair

Like it! It feels as smooth as it looks, and the oil hasn’t dulled down the colour one little bit. Lotsa movement! Thanks, Aileen, for the lovely style!

Also: I have thrown in the clips, and mainly used the Big hair the same way I use a conventional hair dryer: just flipped the head over and spun the locks of hair round and round. Then I flipped it back up and took the sections of hair around my face for another spin.

Also also: the Big hair + dry shampoo + second day hair = big feckin’ hair. I have bolded this because it really is the business. I may even post another picture tomorrow to prove it…


I am keen to continue my BaByLiss investigation and try the Perfect Curl — tune into lovelygirliebits for their video review!


*What is up with the cavalier use of upper and lower case, lads!?!


Mark Hill Salon Professional and The Hair: Long May it Wave

I wasn’t sure, going to bed on Wednesday night, if I was going to wash my hair Thursday morning.

Thursday afternoon was going to be packed, which would usually call for squeaky clean locks, but according to my iPhone, the weather looked to be squally, so why waste the energy, if The Hair was only going to get rained on?

I decided that in the a.m., I would blast the roots with some class of dry shampoo, and iron it out. It would be fine.

I twisted it up into a knot on the top of my head and slept the sleep of the decisive.

When I unravelled it the next day, it looked… really big and wavy and kind of good? This is, I believe, a direct result of having used Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream on Wednesday. I love this stuff so much I want to marry it; I’m going to be writing yet another paean of lurve to it in a few weeks, so for now will just direct you here.

I felt inspired by this wavy largeness to make it even wavier and larger, and so I cracked open the Mark Hill Salon Professional Bad Girl Glam Wicked Waver from Boots{€69}.

00 MARK HILL WAVERWicked, indeed. As are the crazy gloves supplied: sensible to have one for each hand, odd that they are only for the thumb and first two fingers — I felt like a doe, or something.

Odd, because they look odd, but also I am odd because I am not very good at these implements, and need my whole hand to make it work.

Or so I thought. Continue reading

Ach, Me Head: How I Contrived to Look Well, Despite It

It is almost 3pm and I am only having my first coffee right this minute, which is … I can’t express how this is both a nightmare, because it is early afternoon, and also the most glorious moment in my life to date, because I am finally drinking the delicious, delicious coffee.

What happened was: wine taken, crashed at a pal’s house, which is a million miles away from my coffeepot, which wouldn’t be an issue because I am not friends with people would refuse to give me coffee — but my lift to the train station was leaving RIGHT THEN so I flung myself into the car, and flung myself out and then there was no train for an hour. No coffee, not even rubbish train station coffee. So I had a bag of cheese and onion crisps and a Coke, which both saddens {how old am I?} and thrills me {still crazy after all these years.*}

I hadn’t been prepared to wait for the first mug of life-giving coffffeeeeeee for two and half hours. However! I had been prepared to fling myself out the door of my friend’s house, so I packed what I consider to be the best morning-after-the-night-before products — well, I do now, because I managed to look youthful, not dreadful.

>L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream (€14.99/£9.99) I am digging this stuff all the way to the earth’s core. Flawless coverage, with just the correct degree of light reflecting qualities, so that you look radiant rather than sweaty from toxins seeping out of your pores.

> Also from this line, L’Oréal Lumi Magique Touch of Light Highlighting Pen (€12.99/£8.49) did an amazing job of covering up the dark circles, and because I was so delighted that I didn’t look like the dog’s dinner, I felt perkier.

> Eyebrows! So important! Especially as I was in no way going to bother with mascara. Clarins ‘Pro Pallette’ Eyebrow Kit (€39/£32.99) has everything you need to groom yourself awake and alive, but I’d leave the tweezers if you’re feeling a little blurry. I have gotten very bold about the impact of my brows, and use the black pigment (upper left).

>A swipe of Clarins Gloss Prodige in Papaya (€17/£15.50). I am hoping to test a pinkier version of this gloss, because it is indeed prodige.

>Finally, had to see to the The Hair, and brought along the Ojon™ Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray (€20/£18), which was fine; next time, I think I’ll take the Batiste Dry Shampoo Original from Aldi (€2.39), to see how they compare. Here’s a pro tip if you’ve got long hair: I find it hard to really get the stuff on the roots, which is where it is most useful. Even flipping The Hair over doesn’t help. So! I kept the ponytail I had slept in {with? in? why is this taking so long to wriiiiiite} and pulled it up a bit and sprayed the dry shampoo right where I wanted it.

Hey, I thought that was genius. But then, I’m down several thousand brain cells at the mo’.

Sorry, no pictures, it was beyond my capacity. Do take my word that when I got home and looked in the mirror, I was surprised that I didn’t look like the walking dead, and owe it all to the above.

*Or at least not bothered to act my age.

An Ojon Hair Care Extravaganza

Oh, man, I hate moving house.

I’m signing a new lease tomorrow, and I’ve been purging and packing for days. Every time I get up to do something, I end up doing something else, either throwing something random into the rubbish, or re-opening a box I’ve already packed to see if I really need to take that — what ever it is — with me to the next place…

In the spirit of this disordered thinking, I decided to do a hair treatment, because, why not have beautiful hair in the midst of the madness? Continue reading

My World of Shampoo: Let’s Just Wrap This Up

Remember this?

I had such good intentions! I was going to review every single one of these thirteen brands! And then I was all like: naaaah.

The road to hell is paved with shampoo and conditioner.

I did manage … three. I did the Head & Shoulders, the Redken Extreme, and the Matrix one. And the Redken Blonde? hang on… No, the John Freida Sheer Blonde. Oy. But, okay: four!

I even did the Head & Shoulders in haiku! What was I thinking?

I do hate to leave them hanging, though… so here’s a quick round up on what is left:

>Pantene Repair & Protect S&C
Over-the-counter purchase that yields a salon finish. Amazing softness

>L’Oréal Elvive Triple Resist S&C
This gives salon finish too, and can also be bought in the local chemist. Massive shine, but my hair got a bit too… slinky at the end of the day. You know what I mean? I knew I’d never get a second day out this one, and I was right.

>Redken Blond Glam
It is totally glam, and my hair does look blonder when I use this. What more can I say?

>Redken Nature’s Rescue Refining Sea Polish
This is a treatment, I don’t know what this is doing here.

>Orofluido S&C
Love this. Love this beyond words. This I will write about this brand in greater detail in future, because there is also a hair mask and hair oil. Love, love, love.

>L’Oréal Professionnel Absolute repair Cleansing Balm
This is rich and thick and a little weird, because it has the consistency of face cream, or body cream, even. Good stuff, though, for a deep conditioning.

>Ojon S&C
I love their hair mask, and this S&C works best post-mask. My affection for this is ‘medium crush’. Like, this is the dude you occasionally see on the bus, or in the local shop, and you go, ‘Oooh, that dude!’ and then when you get off the bus or leave the shop, you think about him for the rest of the day, and then forget him all over again.

>L’Oréal Professionnel Shine Blonde
This stuff is purple! Otherwise, I didn’t get a lot of joy out this one. It didn’t lather up well, which ‘They’ say is not the point, but it is to me. My hair doesn’t feel clean unless there have been bubbles.

>Aussie Miracle Moist S&C
Can’t beat the Aussie scent, which is utterly all their own. This is my go-to for a practical hair day. Like, a day when I wanted clean but wasn’t too fussed about sleek. This is a great volumiser.

Having said all that, I am really keen to try something new. I am a hussy.

Having Said All That About Dry Shampoos…

… I gave this stuff a go. It works rather differently than a powder. While this may not, technically, be a dry shampoo, it does the same business: it lets you off the shampooing hook.

As it says on the tin, the Ojon™ Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray has Ojon oil in it. I am a fan of the Ojon range, in particular the Restorative Hair Treatment, a little tub of goodness, of which more will be spoken at a later date.

Despite the interesting advice that one should dry shampoo one’s locks the night before the day you’re going to skip shampooing, I shook this up on the skip-a-day morning and gave my head a spritz. Hmmm. I was pretty impressed with the first first impression, and so really went at my roots and scalp. I have to say, if I was the type of person to walk around with bed head {I am so not} then just spraying and massaging it through my hair would result in bed-head extraordinaire.

As it was, I was pretty happy with the result, even once I brushed everything back into order. My hair combed down rather flatly, but it actually felt clean. I was having an unwashed pony tail day, but my hair looked sleek rather than hauled-back-and-greasy. In fact, it looked like a magazine pony tail, which is pretty magical.

The thing about Ojon™ oil in general is that it gets right down there into the shaft of the hair and protects it from the wear and tear of sitting around exposed on the top of your head, day after day. Plus, it helps prevent future damage — look, I went for a walk the other day, in the sunshine, and even as weak as the winter version of the sun is, I felt like my hair had gotten a bit blasted. Not quite as bleached as a week in Ibiza would have made it, but still. So anything that helps me keep things right and tight up there is going to go into my good books.

Just so you know: whilst the Ojon oil is sourced in a section of the Central American rainforest, it is done so responsibly, and the indigenous people who harvest the natural ingredients are paid an income. I wouldn’t countenance this is this wasn’t so.

All of the above is serving to make this my new thing. And for someone who loves shampoo as much as I do, that’s saying something.