Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Amy Child's Sleep-in Rollers - Review

First thing I want to say about this product is how lovely the presentation of the beauty package is. I was just expecting some rollers in a cellophane bag, but they came along with a special pink carrier, with bobby pins contained in a cute velvety drawstring bag.

Okay, so I didn't have the most comfortable night of my life while wearing the rollers but will admit that they were more comfortable than the average roller due to their foamy quality. I would recommend putting something over your head to avoid tangles and natural sleep movements disrupting the bobby pins. I opted for a scarf, but I am sure some of you beauty fiends will have things made specifically for this task. 

Instead of putting the rollers in for sleep, when at home for the day with an evening out in the offing, I will put them in my hair after my morning shower and leave in for as long as possible before getting ready. Having seen masters at work at the likes of Daniel Galvin Juniors salon I am aware my technique is slightly lacking when it comes to putting in rollers - my attempts are not quite as secure and neat and have more with a few fly-aways. I try and trap the bits that have escaped when spraying with holding hairspray. 

While the foam inner of the roller is the key feature to making them more comfortable to sleep in, they make it slightly harder when sliding in the bobby pins when compared to the usual roller minus sponge. 

In terms of the final result, they create great height at the root which stays to an extent till your next wash. They also create Hollywood waves which last you through an evening and make you feel extremely glamorous.

For £22.00 I'd say they are definitely worth treating yourself to.


Review: Colour and Blow Dry at Daniel Galvin Junior

New Year, New Do, New you?

As well as the ‘show ‘em what they’re missing’ post break up makeover, a new year poses as an ideal excuse to renovate your aesthetics.

During my last visit to Daniel Galvin Junior’s Salon I had detailed my numerous past hair disasters, which culminated in a fear and mistrust of salons, and in particular dye jobs. Daniel kindly took it upon himself to show me an opposing experience by inviting me back to get my hair coloured at his lauded salon. After a horrendous Christmas period a pick me up via an afternoon of pampering and beautifying was very much in order and I was confident a trip to the plush Belgravia salon would lift my spirits as well as my roots!
I had also grown tired of my boyfriend looking at old pictures of my lighter-haired self and saying, ‘aww your hair looked so nice’, which as a women I naturally interpreted as meaning it doesn’t look good now.

Daniel’s protege Olyvia Abizadeh would have the responsibility of proving to me that colourists can listen and deliver a result that pleases while not completely destroying the condition of the hair. Initially she is one of those intimidating beauties. Long glossy dark waves, big brown eyes and looking effortlessly cool in leather trousers. Within seconds her warm down to earth nature was revealed and minutes later I was over sharing details of the inner workings of my private life and asking who her favourite member of Mcfly is. Aside for the talent housed in the salon, a winning aspect are the characters within, the relationships, the banter, and the generally relaxed and fun tone of the salon. Of course they are faultlessly polite, but there is none of the pretension and stiffness that you might expect for a salon that cares to the tresses of celebs (Made in Chelsea stars, Kelly Brook, Holly Valance Amanda Holden), and London’s well to do. It should be mentioned that some of the wonderful staff arrived as part of ‘Headstart’, a fantastic apprenticeship programme set up by Daniel in 2007 for disadvantaged young people, alongside the Prince’s Trust.

I went with a few images of the dream result for my visit to the Salon - think beachy highlights, made up of dark and light blonde shades (Elle McPherson, Nicole Richie, Lauren Conrad and random google image hotty). Although Olyvia agreed they were great looks, she observed that some some of the shades weren’t necessarily the best options for my colouring, Daniel agreed. She offered up an alternative idea, which would result in natural looking highlights that would imitate the sun drenched locks of a backpacking traveler or someone who has just come back from a beachy holiday. Another bonus of her wisely chosen technique/colours was that it would be low maintenance, which for a lazy groomer like myself is pretty much essential.

I had a natural-ish dip dye effect with sun drenched/lightened ends with a skin draining dark blonde taking up about half of the length. Olyvia’s idea was we wouldn’t go lighter than the dipped tips but bring some colour to the dull top. Rather than creating the define tiger stripes look favoured by my school mates in the 90’s, Olyvia took small strands throughout the layers of my hair which resulted in a look that could have easily been by cultivated by mother nature’s rays. She also created a halo affect with lightened strands framing my face.

After my hair was washed and glossed, Joe would be the guy on task to complete my transformation with a blow dry, which I’ve always said is the first regular luxury I would choose if my bank balance were to allow. I have just enough styling ability to create a flat, sleek look at home with a rub of serum and my GHDs, so if I have someone with skills at my disposal, the phrase ‘bigger the better’ is always voiced - and always with a slight titter. With a Spritz of Daniel’s volume spray and masterful round brush action by Joe my hair was put in rollers to secure its oomph-ed future.

Reveal time. The rollers were removed to reveal hair with height enough to please a TV ready member of Girls Aloud and tresses that glistened like gold - it was exactly what I’ve always wanted for my hair. A very 2013 way of knowing that you are pleased with the results is when you are compelled to find the nearest mirror (preferably in private) to take a few pouty selfies in order to create a nice ‘new hair’ montage on Instagram. Narcissistic...perhaps, but as a former salon skeptic my jubilation was worth sharing!

I avoided the shower for two day after (probably shouldn’t admit that) as I wanted to make the most of my do in its optimum state, knowing I wouldn’t be able to recreate perfected volume of that magnitude myself. Olyvia had said her aim was that when people saw me they’d say that my hair looks lovely, rather than making comment on a noticeable dye job.
My glamourous showcase for my new look was during a girly catch up at Nando’s. We went through the normal pleasantries, I responded to enquires about how I was with the usual stress tinged response, which was replied with, ‘well at least your hair looks good!”. I’d say that’s mission accomplished.

I was attempting to avoid a name drop, but *** that. As I was leaving the Belgravia salon, passing the line up of designer shops from Chanel to Prada, I saw a very grumpy looking Jose Mourinho coming towards me. As he passed he managed to relax the deep set frown (a tad) and dart an admiring look at my swishing oomph-ed hair. It would be accurate to say after that sort of nod of approval I stood up a little straighter and swished my hair with a little more vigor on the rest of my walk back to Knightsbridge station.


So as well as bit of self improvement to ones facade you may be making lifestyle choices too - by becoming ‘organic’ in 2013 for instance. Daniel was on this tack way before it became merely the trendy way to live. In 2000 he launched the first ever organic, professional, designer haircare range and has since collaborated with HRH Prince Charles to launch DUCHY Originals Natural luxury Collection and a range exclusive to Marks and Spencer.

Although I may be a bit lax on salon visits I will ensure I look after by golden mane from this point onwards using numerous Organic Head products.

To prevent my hair returning to its former straw like status I will be using the Detox Masque (£4.00) which revives colour as well as smoothing the lengths to ensure a mirror like shine. It also adds volume by removing by removing product build up.  

 That said as you know I can’t get enough in the volume stakes so I will also be adding the Full Volume Root Lift Spray (£4.00) to me regime which gives hair extra height while Glycerine, organic aloe vera and Ecocert organic orange oil nourishes while organic argan Biogreen strengthens.

Available from www.danielgalvinjunior.com and Morrisons store nationwide


Monday, 21 January 2013

My Interview with MTV Catfish creaters Max Joseph and Nev Schulman

Tonight MTV UK premiers the first episode of a gripping 12 part new series based on the hit film Catfish.

Cat-fish (Kat-fish) noun - a person who pretends to be someone they're not, using social media to create a false identity, particularly to pursue deceitful online romances.

The show focuses on young couples who without closer inspection appear to have cultivated a romantic relationship or 'fallen in love' via the internet, but are yet to meet in person. Filmmakers Yaniv (Nev) Schulman and Max Joseph make it their responsibility to uncover the realities of the situation, traveling around the vast country to document each unique and intensely personal story.

Each episode highlights everyone's natural yearning for love, which combined with the naivety of youth and our instinct to see the best in people, blinds the victim to some glaring truths. Of course there can be lies and falsehoods in so called 'normal' face to face relationships, but this show puts a spotlight on the way social media and communication via the internet can aid in someone's attempt to mask and deceive. In fact it gives them the ability to create a whole new world.... or escape.

Starts Monday 21st January @10pm on MTV (Opening with a double bill)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Behind The Scenes - Pyramids Video Shoot

Last weekend I popped by a very chilly antique shop/warehouse in Walton on Thames, where Pyramids were shooting the video for their first single 'Come Away With Me'. 
Check out my behind the scenes footage below....
You can find the charming chaps at the following places...


Monday, 7 January 2013

Interview with Paris, the artist behind the Mylo Xyloto artwork

A few weeks ago I headed to Proud Galleries to chat to Paris, who alongside Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion, created the striking artwork for Mylo Xyloto. The original artwork was displayed in an exhibition headed up by Album Artists who were aiming to raise a considerable amount of money for a fantastic charity called Kids Company. The wall above, which was featured in 'Every Teardrop is a Waterfall' ended up raising a hugely impressive £500,000.
What was the first piece of art you remember creating?
Scribbling on my bedroom wall with a wax crayon. ( age 3)
What was the first piece of art you remember grabbing your attention?
A big piece of Op art in the Ferens Art Gallery, it was made of fluorescent tube lights and changed colours when you dropped money in it.
You have said that you aren’t really immersed in current music too much, but you do take note of music artwork and album covers. What attributes make a successful cover?
You cant beat being in a good record shop and browsing through the gatefold covers...Itunes isn't quite the same...The best Album artwork comes from designers who are passionate about what they do, and understand design aesthetics.What counts for me is Originality & Impact and interpreting the bands message & music in a new way. Tappin Gofton understand this and thats why they're such good designers / Art directors to work with.
What needs to be considered? 
What are your favourite (most iconic) album covers of all time? 
Anything by Peter Saville (Joy Division -New Order) and the work of The Designers Republic.... also the Stone Roses album covers..and the Art of Rick Griffin, also the Dangermouse / Doom Covers are incredible.
Graffiti is known by some for the fact often being created on buildings, outside, and often without permmission. Is it harder to create graffiti work in a controlled manner? (When commissioned by someone.)
Yes, its a lot harder than it looks to create something with all the spontaneity and ravages of a city wall in a controlled environment, but I've mastered it.
Is it odd seeing your work in gallery type environments? 
No its not strange, with all my artwork its about context, where its placed and being site specific...
You can highlight a lot of issues by bringing something you might pass by in the street into a gallery.
Did you enjoy the element or risk when doing it on the buildings of Hull in the early days?
Yes, the risk, the adrenaline, the sense of accomplishing something that my peer group would respect and the chance to show I existed in this world!
You have said that when you were growing up Hull had a lot of derelict buildings that you could use to display your art. Do you think if you had grown up somewhere else you may have explored another style of art?
I feel that you do'nt choose graffiti, it chooses you.Know what I mean? So no matter where I grew up I think I would have gravitated to it, and to the environments where graffiti exists.
You have said that you love the freedom of the medium of graffiti. Is that hindered when you are having to stick to a brief or if it is tightly planned out?
A brief can give you perimeters that are good, like timescale & size, and if your able to work within that then you can often get really free with what your doing....as an artist you have to take control, always.
Too much "public art" is ruined by committees and briefs though.
How much scope were you given t explore your own ideas with this work?
The best briefs are always the ones when you're just told " do what you do best, we love it!" which is exactly what happened with Coldplay.
Not only were you commissioned to do work for Coldplay, you helped to teach them the art and educate them about it. Have any of the guys really taken to creating artwork or shown particular flair or personal style with what they’ve created? 
Yes they all have in different ways. I guess in the same way as they are musicians,  and they all have thier own personal styles, so its the same with art. They're a very talented bunch!.
Do you believe you can teach people to be artistic?
I believe you can nurture the creativity in everyone, and encourage self expression through having fun and being free of formal artistic constraints
You had to get a lot of artists in to help you create the vast amount of work. Do you like working in a team?
I love working in a team for the fact that through collaboration often comes unexpected results, and you can get a lot more done in a short space of time!
From spending time with Coldplay was there anything that surprised you about them and the life of a hugely successful rock band?
I guess I was surprised at just how hard working they all are, and highly professional in everything they do.
Has the experience of working on the various projects for Coldplay seen you develop your art in any way?

Yes, my own work has gone from strength to strength. It's given me a new confidence working for Coldplay and I've traveled to some incredible places with them, all this has given me a lot of inspiration that I hope to channel into my studio work this year.

It would be my dream to find a high end gallery to represent my work around the world...
Apart from being a great experience has it progressed your skills or style? 

Yeah, from working fast on a huge scale (but to a brief), I feel it's really freed me up and my new painting style is now a lot more intuitive .
Coldplay are known for having specific concepts and outfits for each of their albums. Will this mean they will seek out a different style/medium or artist for their next output, or are their plans for more collaborations? 

I'd love to work for Coldplay again, and it would be even better to have a new, completely different style & direction.We'll have to see what the future holds. 
The artwork for Every Teardrop is a Waterfall was quickly cleaned off and painted over. Is that hard to deal with (is there a sort of grief process)?

Haha. From years of painting in the public domain I've learned not to be precious with what I do, as long as the work has been documented I'm happy.
Have you discovered what some of the codes and numbers are that the band scrawled on the wall?

Yeah, I made up a few of my own as well x. 
You also created  artwork for Robbie Williams (Rudebox). What type of people/industries make for the ideal clients for you?

Ideal clients = Architects, Fashion houses, Design journals ( World of Interiors) , collectors of items of beauty.
Who would you most like to create work for?

Issey Miyaki or Paul Smith, Stussy, Studio Gibli, Lego, Apple, Stone Roses, Wes Anderson. 
If you had an infinite budget, what piece of art would you want to bid and win? 

I'd love a painting by Philip Guston, or an original drawing by Herb Lubalin or Syd Mead, or I guess to own a painting by Matisse, that would be the ultimate....


Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Sophie Awards - My Year in Review (kinda)

I had big plans for my yearly round up blog post, but life and it's struggles got in the way over the last few weeks meaning that this summary barely scratches the surface. I made a start though, so hopefully you can join me and enjoy reminiscing with me on just a few moments from 2012....

Funniest Interview of The Year

The Blackout always provide quality soundbites from interviews, but it would be too easy to praise the Welshmen for their quick wit again, so this year we have a draw between Don Broco and Lee Nelson from Leeds Festival. The funny thing is that all the interviews from this weekend were edited, and some blinding moments will sadly never see the light of day. I'd say it was probably wise that mine and Bob's (Blackout) chat about IBS was removed.

Being called frigid, or is dancing without the support of a good bra the winning moment? You decide...

Nicest Interviewee of the Year

I am happy to say that there are many candidates for this accolade, but because it was the first time I'd met him I'd say Justin for The Vaccines just pipped it. Not only was he a delight to chat to, his tour manager and him were very accommodating when we had to repeatedly change the time of the interview because of another band's antics.

Gig of The Year 

Young Guns at Shepherds Bush Empire. A very special night and so wonderful to see good people achieve and receive deserved success. 

Festival of the Year

This year I went to Slam Dunk Festival, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Relentless Energy Drink Nass Festival, Leeds Festival, Download, Freeze, V Festival, Hackney Weekend, 1234 Shoreditch Festival...phew...I think the winner has to be Leeds Festival. I did 30 interviews over the weekend as I was working for the festival during the day and for Relentless doing the late night tent...ok, it nearly killed me, but looking back it was pretty swell.

Best Meal

I am not into overly fussy food, I like good old fashioned grub -  big portions and cockle warming. That said, the contemporary fusion food we sampled in Jersey's Saffrons restaurant at Hotel De France was spectacular.

Best Hotel

Obviously it depends on what criteria you are considering when passing judgement, but I had the best time staying at The Landmark. The staff were friendly (and quirky), the room was modern but classic.. and huge. Check my review below....

Best Salon

Bleach London allowed me to be daring but in a less scary way when they delivered a temporary peachy pink, which made me feel like a new person, which trust me is a great thing! I relished my new colour and definitely started a new obsession....

Daniel Galvin Jnr helped me to enjoy going to the hairdressers for the first time in... let's just say a lot of years. After my amazing detox treatment and va va boom blow dry I am definitely going to return in 2013!

New Band Discovery

This year I was introduced to the fantastic Dry The River. I first met Pete and Scott at the Garage ahead of their performance for Relentless Energy Drinks Energy Session, and then later in the year for a pre - Reading and Leeds natter. Sadly due to my non stop work situation at Leeds festival I didn't get to watch them, but I have very much enjoyed their album over the last few months. Top band, top chaps, top hair/beards, top videos....check out my fave New Ceremony below....

Film of the Year

Almost a tough one for me to pick, mainly because of my awful capacity to remember what I've seen over the last 12 months, so predictably I'm picking the ones that I have seen quite recently.
Argo was the film that had me quite literally on the edge of my seat, with my hands cupped over my mouth in anxiety. If I had the known the real-life events and outcome of the story, which I probably should have, I may not have been so enthralled and suspense filled, but my lack of knowledge actually enhanced my cinematic experience on this occasion. Skyfall earned the position of favourite Bond movie so far and signaled a new era for the franchise. The Perks of being a Wallflower will I'm sure become a future 'coming of age' classic, and the young leads did a great job. Silver Lining's Playbook had the perfect combination of dark and light elements and featured two of my favourite actors Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, they were great together in this film.

Favourite TV Show

I know that most people will be writing Homeland, but I missed the first few and have decided I will wait and watch the show in one long marathon. There were some great one of drama's that pulled on the heart strings too. The Human Mannequin was the most inspiring watch of the year. Modern Family, Would I Lie to You and Idiot Abroad 3 were reliable on the chuckle front, but I am sad to admit that shows like Made in Chelsea have hooked me in this year as well as The Great British Bake Off.

Album of the Year

Young Guns- Bones

Deftones - Koi No Yokan

Crosses - (EP)

Dry The River - Shallow Bed

Song of the Year

Kodaline - All I Want
Young Guns - You Are Not
Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven
Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments
Crosses - Telepathy
Gaslight Anthem - 45

Trend of the Year

Dip/Tye Dye - I know its hardly flipping the script, fashion forward or trailblazing, but I still blooming' love it. I can't help myself. Same goes for galaxy prints. I've stopped buying, but the lust is still there.

Red Carpet Moment of The Year

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford 

Style Icon 

Diane Kruger - fashion forward but elegant - a designer's dream.
Jennifer Lawrence - She always looks so comfortable in her skin, looking healthy rather than waifish and gaunt.
Miley Cyrus - I admired her for stepping away from her Disney girl image. Lopping off her trademark mane and swapping for a peroxide crop is a gutsy move and she had to put up with a fair amount of flack for it.

Other mentions go to Rihanna (who can pull off both street-wear and glamour with ease) Jessica Chastain - I adored her McQueen dress at the Oscars this year, which perfectly complimented her red hair and Michelle Williams pixie crop looked wonderful with her array of vintage looks.

Fashion Bargain of The Year

These studded beauties from Matalan were a steal at £14

Tech Item of the Year

In 2011 my Blackberry was almost responsible for a stress stroke, so I have to shout out to HTC for providing a phone that not only worked (yes you'd think that was a given) but actually made my blogging a million percent easier. But taking this prize has got to be my new Go Pro Hero 3 Silver Edition, which helped me film some awesome clips at You Me At Six's latest gig at Wembley Arena (head to my Youtube Channel to see)

Maybe I'll find the oomph to do a follow up post soon... in the meantime I wish you all love and happiness in 2013 xxxxx


Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL - Reader Review

I had just had my hair expertly lightened by Loren at Bleach London when the generous people at Schwarzkopf sent over some samples of their LIVE COLOUR XXL dye. I am not one for being wasteful so I reached out to my lovely Twitter friends for willing guinea pigs looking to add oomph to their mane in time for Christmas. The willing green eyed, porcelain skinned Sandra stepped forward to take on a Pillar Red Hue. 

* a quick disclaimer.... the dye was intended for blondes, so the outcome is less drastic on the brunette Sandra.

Sandra's Review:

Unfortunately the red is not that bright and barely noticeable. I think my natural hair color was too dark. But nevertheless I like the result, the little bit of a red shade that is visible on my head. Using the product was quite easy after having read the instruction leaflet (clear descriptions). I massaged the color creme into my damp hair and waited about 25 minutes and rinsed it out with warm water. Very easy to use. When my hair was dry it had this reddish shade which I love. The longer I look at it, the more I like it. And it smells good.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Good Riddance 2012

Happy New Year Everyone. Sending love and happiness your way xxx

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