Hair & Beauty

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London Fashion Week SS17

If there’s one Fashion Week that’s associated with new talent and a passion for supporting the underdog, it’s London Fashion Week; and with the likes of Prophetik, Gareth Pugh and Mulberry all showing strong collections, it looks like the bar is set to keep on rising.

I’m headed to London SUPER early in the morning for three jam packed days of shows and events and a special something from one of my all time favourite designers (more on that later).

Stay tuned Voyeurs, after a very mediocre NYFW, I’m predicting big things from London.  BIG things….

Pixie xo

 

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Newcastle Skin Clinic: Putting Aesthetics on the Map

When it comes to aesthetics and enhancement we’ve learned from the media that it pays to play it safe and do your research before entering into any non-surgical procedure.   Luckily, here in the North East we’re blessed with some of the best practitioners in the UK.

Newcastle has become something of a hub for boutique aesthetics and is home to some big players making waves on the scene.  One of these is Luisa Scott of Newcastle Skin Clinic, which serves clientele from all over the country and sometimes further afield.

I’ve come to know Luisa pretty well and there’s barely a week goes by that we don’t hang out.  We meet regularly, drink cold brewed coffee, gym and chat; but this time, she’s more excitable than usual….

“I’ve been told I’ve been nominated for an award but I need you to search for it and tell me if it’s for real” she says loudly.  After a bit of searching, a bit of questioning and the obligatory screenshot as evidence, we establish that it is definitely, very real.  Luisa / Newcastle Skin Clinic are nominated in three categories of the prestigious “My Face My Body” Awards (Best Customer Experience, Best Aesthetic Clinic North & Best Non-surgical Makeover), which are decided by a combination of public vote and industry specialist panel.  She’s also been shortlisted for The Institute Hyalual Award for Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner of the Year in the big one, The Aesthetic Awards;  this she tells me, is the Oscars of the aesthetic Industry.  She swiftly follows this up with “I won’t win”, which I answer with an eyeroll.

Let me give you a little background:  Newcastle Skin Clinic is a relatively new player on the aesthetics field and at 35 years old, Luisa is the youngest Chair of the BACN but she’s earned her stripes.  After practicing as Harrod’s Medi-Spa’s Lead Aesthetic Practitioner she returned to her hometown to set up her own clinic offering standard and bespoke treatments based on demand and thus, Newcastle Skin Clinic was born.  She’s become a firm favourite of many of the Geordie Shore cast with Marnie Simpson recently saying that she trusts a select few practitioners with her face, Luisa being one of them.

 

Luisa tells me she chose aesthetics as a career for two reasons: the first is making a difference to people’s lives and the second is freedom.  “So I can still work on my music” I laugh at this, picturing the time she dressed as Kylie Minogue for a costume party.  Seriously though, Luisa is also a pretty awesome DJ and it’s something she doesn’t want to give up. “This way I can do both” she says.

Luisa is happiest when she’s learning; she’s always asking “why not?” and seeks out opportunities to pioneer new treatments to treat causes rather than symptoms.  Take her latest Eyedration treatment for example - it’s a standard Teartrough treatment that’s been tweaked and taken up a notch to amplify results.

Fast forward to 2016 and here we are.  Luisa is literally ecstatic at her nominations and can’t quite believe it; she tells me she’s in amongst some of her idols and that just being nominated is recognition for her.  She shows me pictures of the case study for which she’s been nominated, it’s a before and after picture of a patient who has been receiving a brand new treatment for the undereye area, a patient who had been considering a facelift, and the difference is staggering. “Great isn’t it?” she says smiling.

She’s also the woman behind my awesome (yes, I said it) eyebrows.  About a year ago she said to me “We need to do something about those eyebrows, I’m going to get you something” and long story short, I never actually realised how freaking awful my brows were until now.  See for yourself….

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Luisa offers a full suite of aesthetic treatments including staples such as Botox, Dermal Fillers, Lip Fillers and Eyelash Serum but the clinic is working on introducing a new range of seasonal treatments based on customer demand, the latest being Vitamin B12 shots and bespoke Vitamin Drips based on a cocktail menu.  Anyone familiar with the Clinic will know that Lip Filler is Luisa’s specialty.  Known to her clients as “Luisa Lips” she has an artistic flair recognised and acknowledged by Juvederm, the manufacturer of the filler she uses and her clients come back time and time again for her signature ApocaLips.  I should know, I’m one of them.

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In the aesthetics industry recognition is awesome, winning the award is another thing altogether.  So, if you’re a patient of Newcastle Skin Clinic, an admirer of their work, or you’re impressed by the case study that earned Luisa her nomination then please Voyeurs, go vote in the awards and keep your eyes on social media for the results.

Best Non-surgical Makeover

Best Aesthetic Practice North

Best Customer Experience North

Also, it’s worth noting that Newcastle Skin Clinic often host a late night clinic where they broadcast live treatments using the hashtag #NSCLive so if you’re fascinated by this kind of stuff, be sure to watch.

Pixie xo

 

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The 2016 London White Party

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If you’re a Beauty Blogger, or you work in the beauty or Aesthetics industry, you’ll probably have heard of the Safety in Beauty campaign; launched in October 2013, the campaign seeks to facilitate and promote safe practice across the entire industry.  Masterminded by Beauty Blogger Antonia Mariconda, the campaign offers members of the public free medical and legal advice regarding procedures in the aesthetics and beauty arena.  Sounds good right?  Double right.  The campaign has amassed such success that Aesthetics Practitioners all over the UK have jumped on board pushing for safer medical practice and as such, the Safety in Beauty Awards were born, to celebrate the industry’s ‘Diamonds’.

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2015 saw the first Safety in beauty Diamond Awards and White Party in London, where excellent practice and education was recognised and rewarded.  So successful was the event, that 2016 marks it’s second entry in the aesthetics calendar and I was invited as a guest of Newcastle Skin Clinic to bring you all the deets.  First of all, why white….?

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Ok, now we have that established on to the venue: The Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden.  Dressed to the theme with a (very lumpy and bumpy) white carpet running throughout.  Before you say “accident waiting to happen” yes, I tripped over it. Twice, and I wasn’t the only one.

The White Party is a big thing, but what it stands for and sets out to achieve is much bigger.  Everywhere you look, you’re reminded that the event is about Safety In beauty and that’s what comes first - before the party, the glamour and the cocktails, we’re here first and foremost to promote and recognise correctness, safety and medical excellence in the industry.

I should first explain, there are three of us in our party and we make a pretty fine bunch. You know me already Voyeurs, there’s Luisa Scott, Aesthetic Nurse at Newcastle Skin Clinic and Mark Summers, Mark has a very successful hair extension business and regularly tends to the tresses of the MTV Geordie Shore cast.  So, now you know a bit about this motley crew, on to the good stuff…

I wore a white Love Niche tuxedo dress accessorised with Love Niche hand harnesses and a hair crown, Luisa wore custom Pink Cherry Couture and Mark wore Zara Man with brogues.  We enlisted the help of Celebrity Makeup Artist Stacey Lincoln who visited us at our Notting Hill penthouse apartment, with instructions to give me the darkest black smokey eye, (to match my heart), and to give Luisa (my partner in beautiful crimes), the full drag queen treatment.  Mark required no makeup because he’s freaking gorgeous without it.

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We arrived at the Grand Connaught Rooms and were greeted on the door by iPad wielding hostesses who registered us for the evening before we headed to the bar for gin.  The first room housed the bar & a dedicated selfie zone with a Kimye-esque white (natch) flower wall, the second was set up for the main event with tables named after designers (we were Fendi), and a buffet dinner.  Before the event started we mingled with Lizzie Cundy, Arlene Philips and Abigail Clarke (who is an actual friend of mine, not just someone I spotted).

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With the boxing season about to start again for me I was under strict orders to drink no alcohol so of course I drank gin, amaretto and more gin (sorry Phil, I shall repent by jumping rope).  The food wasn’t so great - a sentiment echoed by everyone on my table and further afield, and the queuing system was most likely responsible for the late start.  In the days following the event, we were contacted by the Safety In Beauty Team to express their disappointment with the venue and how things hadn’t gone as promised.  It certainly didn’t spoil our night anyway!

Despite starting way later than planned, once the event was underway we heard real life stories of how the campaign has helped people and how most importantly, education for consumers is key.  If consumers are able to make an informed decision based on truth, then the campaign has succeeded in empowering them.  Awards were given out in a variety of categories after being shortlisted and critiqued by a specialist panel.

On to the reason for us being there, as the sole practitioner at Newcastle Skin Clinic, Luisa was shortlisted for the Nurse of the Year Award having been recognised for her reconstructive work and her cautious attitude towards injecting filler etc.  Sadly she didn’t win, the award went to Rachel Goddard who Luisa said was a “very deserving winner”.  The actual awards part of the evening was excellent, not too long like some of these events can be and not so short that it loses its effect.  Each category and associated award was compounded with a success story which made it relatable for the audience.  The full list of categories and award winners is below.

Nurse of The Year Award Winner
Rachel Goddard

Highly Commended
Claudia McGloin
Sue Ibrahim
Lindsey McEnroe

Doctor of The Year Award Winner
Dr. David Eccleston

Highly Commended 
Dr Patrick Treacy
Dr Tijion Esho
Dr Daniel Sister

Surgeon of The Year  Award Winner
My Breast Group (Patrick Malucci, Simon Withey, Norman Waterhouse, Peter Butler)

Highly Commended
Sabrina Shah-Desai
Nick Parkhouse

Clinic of The Year Award Winner
EF Medispa
 
Highly Commended
Medizen
Air Aesthetics

Beauty Industry Professional of The Year Award Winner
Tracy Giles

Highly Commended 
Lorena Oberg
Eryca Freemantle

Innovation for Pioneering Service in Safety Brand Award Winner
Accuvein

Innovation for Pioneering Service in Safety Individual Professional Award Winner
Norman Wright PAPPS

Training/Educational & Professional Development (Advanced Beauty) Award Winner 
Noveau Contour by Karen Betts

Training/Educational & Professional Development (Medical Aesthetic) Award Winner
BACN British Association of Cosmetic Nurses

Highly Commended
MATA
Society of Mesotherapy

Best Industry Safety Campaign Award Winner
British Association of Dermatologists for The Sun Awareness Campaign

Best Industry Media Outlet Award Winner
The Consulting Room

Best Beauty & Aesthetics Industry Show/Event Award Winner
Olympia Beauty

Outstanding Career Achievement Award Winner
Dr. Dawn Harper

People’s Choice Award – Most Inspirational Person Award Winner
Katie Piper

The White Party feels like an exclusive club, almost like the premiership for UK aesthetic practitioners and this is their Christmas Party.  It’s interesting to see how these people interact with one another; there’s no competing, no animosity and in fact, they all seem to be friends with one another, cheering for each other as names are called out during the awards ceremony.  As we leave the event, shoes in hand, Luisa tells me that she’s proud to have been in a room with some of her “heroes and mentors” and that makes me smile.  We hail a cab and head back to our apartment where we quickly realise that none of us brought any makeup remover….

“Thank you to all our amazing sponsors and guests attending, the glamour and style is always a pleasure to see, and the support The Safety in Beauty Campaign continues to amass yearly is simply humbling” - Antonia Mariconda, Founder & Creator

Roll on 2017, I can’t wait to see what happens next year!

Pixie xo

I also have to give special thanks to Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic for getting me event ready in the days before The White Party.  I paid them a visit for white Essie gel nails, Decleor’s Vital Eyes treatment for my tired eyes and Nouveau’s LVL Lashes which are the best I’ve ever had, in fact, the makeup artist we used said there was no need for false lashes because my own were THAT GOOD! So big love guys, you’re the best!

 

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Decleor HydraFloral Anti Pollution Active Lotion: Tried & Tested

I was asked by Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic to mix things up a little this month and instead of the usual treatment review, to take a salon product, try it out at home and then report back with my findings; a good, solid, tried and tested review so that you Voyeurs, can make an informed decision before you buy.  This is something I’ll be doing more of in the coming months.

This month’s Beauty Product On Trial is the amazing Decleor HydraFloral Anti Pollution Active Lotion.  A tricky product to define and a tongue twister to say, it’s a moisturiser with a big difference; when dispensed, it’s a clear fluid, similar to a toner and when applied to the skin it drip feeds the skin essential moisture throughout the day as required to keep skin in tip top condition.

“Enriched with Moringa Olifeira extract providing protection against pollution particles, it reveals a beautiful skin texture. Skin feels plumped, with dehydration lines appearing smoothed. Skin glows and feels fresh.”   Decleor 

In short, it’s a revelation, a wonder product, a bathroom essential!  As we know daily stress and pollution take their toll on our skin and can cause dehydration and other visible skin defects, Decleor Anti Pollution Active Lotion combines the freshness of a cosmetic water with the hydration power of a cream delivering continuous hydration, trust me, I’ve used it and I’m a convert!

I recently came back from vacation with flaky, congested skin from dehydration, changes in temperature, and using sunscreen.  I had one Microdermabrasion Facial at Newcastle Hair & Beauty and followed this with Decleor’s latest addition to the HydraFloral range.

Skeptical at first after seeing the consistency of the product, I kept the faith and used it twice per day for three weeks on my face and neck.  Decleor advise “Apply 2-3 drops into your hands (no cotton pad needed) and massage into a cleansed face and neck” sounds easy right?  In an age where we use space age serums followed by moisturisers with SPF and oils it really is, That. Simple.

On a morning I’d ‘pat’ it in to my skin which felt immediately hydrated and ‘springy’.  On an evening I’d apply the water-like lotion and let it soak into my skin and then “seal” it in with my usual facial oil and my skin improved dramatically within just four days.  It’s light and doesn’t clog pores, (I wish I’d had it before I went on vacation!) and it really feels like skincare stripped right back to the basics.  Fresh, easy and effective; just how skincare should be.

Want to try it out for yourself?  Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic will have Decleor HydraFloral Anti Pollution Lotion as their Product On Trial in the salon, pop in and give it a go with no obligation but be prepared to be hooked, this one’s a doozie….

Pixie xo

Decleor HydraFloral Anti Pollution Active Lotion 100ml £40

 

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Essential Vacation Prep at Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic

You all know I’ve just arrived back in the UK from an amazing vacation to visit Mama Tenenbaum on the island of Menorca and as we all do, I put in a bit of essential beauty prepping beforehand…

Here’s my guide to Essential Vacation Prep, a simple set of treatments which are vital to getting you holiday ready.  There are no luxurious facials here, just plain, simple, look good, feel great classics to get your Summer vacation of to a great start and these treatments are long lasting, requiring no maintenance during your vacation time.  Bonus.

I hit up long time Fashion Voyeur collaborator Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic to get started and from their menu of treatments I picked these:

1. Essie Gel Nails - Fingers £35

Gel nails, you either love ’em or hate ’em and there’s no in-between.  The pros are that they’re long lasting, chip resistant and super shiny, the cons are that they can be damaging to nails of not removed correctly and when they grow, you’re left with that bare  crescent at the cuticle as your nails grow.  Essie’s system is relatively new in terms of gel nails and it’s the brand favoured by Kate Middleton, the actual Queen, and now me, Pixie Tenenbaum, Blogger extraordinaire.  Ok, gel initiation over, I like to go for a real Summery colour my Nail Technician Gemma tells me that I ALWAYS go for the shades that nobody else chooses so I’m here to show you why these neglected shades are simply the best.

I chose Essie’s ‘Sunset For Two’ a super Summery and citrus shade of orange, I figure if I tan (I don’t), it’s going to look even more awesome.  It’s the Boxing off-season at the moment too so I’ve been able to let my nails grow #Winning.  On day 10 two of my gels had started to peel, I’m guessing this was down to the heat so rather than panic, I buffed them back a little and it was barely noticeable other than on the two tips in question.

2. Essie Gel Nails - Toes £35

Come on, you can’t do fingers and not toes right?!  I always go for gel toes on vacation, open toe shoes call for foot jewellery and metallic tattoos so it’s only fitting to throw some polish on there to make them pop.

I chose a bold, bright shade called ‘Bring Me Another’ and here’s the thing, although this isn’t actually a colour changing polish, this colour changed every day from day one, including the days that I was in the UK before I left for Menorca.  Starting off as a bright, solid shade of fuchsia pink with lots of pigment and depth of colour, it faded through coral to a soft pale orange.  Good thing or bad thing?  I’ll let you decide.  Unexpected for sure, but I actually quite liked the different looks it gave me throughout my vacation without having to paint them each time.  If you choose this shade for yourself because you adore it,  bear in mind that it won’t stay that shade for long but it stayed completely intact with no peeling.

3. Brow & Lash Tint £18.50

Absolutely essential. Fact.  I’m currently using a product to regrow my brows (I grew up in the 90’s what can I say) and although they are coming in, they’re thinner than the rest of my brows and a tint just gives the appearance of much thicker, more uniform brows, a look that I love.  I actually tint them every fortnight and I go for dark brown mixed with a little black for a custom shade.  Had I not been growing my brows in, I’d add a wax to get the shape looking slick.

My lashes are pretty good but we all get those bleached tips that look like little white dots when you get up close and they can make lashes look shorter.  A tint breathes life back into lashes making them look darker, longer and sleeker and it opens up the eyes - handy if like me, you’re pretty sleep deprived most of the time.  Plus, no mascara required for the duration of your vacation and that’s never a bad thing.  If you feel that you’re lashes are very straight and ‘disappear’ when you look at them in the mirror, you could try LVL Lashes.

4. Lycon Bikini Wax £38

If you’re not already familiar, then get familiar.  This is a wax that will change your life. Maybe….

You all know that I’m a Bikini Wax Connoisseur (it’s a thing) from my posts about struggling to find a great wax North of London but Lycon changed everything.  With a menu of ‘styles’ to choose from including Brazilian, Hollywood and Californian, Newcastle Hair & Beauty clinic have got you covered.  Personally for me it’s a Hollywood every time (yup, that’s everything off Voyeurs), and I’m regular, every eight weeks like clockwork, you could set your watch by my waxing appointments.

I don’t have to tell you why a bikini wax is Essential Holiday Prep Voyeurs, with high line bikinis and swimsuits making a comeback thanks to Kylie Jenner, there’s more and more skin on show at the beach (and beyond) these days, don’t be that person who didn’t get a wax…

So, there it is Voyeurs, my top tips to get you vacation ready without shelling out an absolute fortune.    Think of me as the Waitress Essentials of beauty, no fluffy stuff, no uber expensive treatments and nothing that requires any recovery time.  Just plain, simple, affordable staple treatments.  You’re welcome.

As soon as I hit home soil, I like to get a Microdermabrasion Facial £54 to slough off all the surface cells and get my skin in tip top condition.  I often react to using sunscreen on my face and Microdermabrasion is a great solution, after all if you tan, you want great skin to show it off right?

 

Pixie xo

To see more of my vacation, head over to my Instagram #TenenbaumsOnTour

Newcastle Hair & Beauty clinic have a £5 voucher for new customers, available to download here

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Newcastle Skin Clinic Shortlisted for a Safety in Beauty Award

North East business woman and Newcastle Skin Clinic Aesthetic Nurse Luisa Scott has been nominated for the Nurse of the Year Diamond Award by the Safety in Beauty organisation.

The Safety in Beauty campaign seeks to:

Help, educate and empower consumers
Facilitate a better, safer, more transparent industry
Offer much-needed support
Give peace of mind to everyone seeking to improve their looks
The Safety in Beauty Campaign supports member of the public by allowing them limited FREE access to emotional, legal and medical advice and support. The campaign is run by voluntary supporters and professionals who do not receive any financial renumeration for the time and services that they generously give for the greater good of the campaign objectives.

Luisa began her Aesthetics career in Urban Retreat Medi-Spa in Harrods of London before returning to her home town of Newcastle to concentrate on opening a boutique aesthetics clinic to serve the people of the North East.  With the idea of bringing Harley Street to the North East, Newcastle Skin Clinic was set up offering aesthetic treatments such as dermal fillers, skin peels and lip enhancements.

Luisa is known for her Signature Lip Augmentation procedure: ApocaLips and her loyal clients have coined the nickname Luisa Lips for this very reason.  With the cast of Geordie Shore as regular clients, Luisa has built a reputation for being a careful, conscientious practitioner who listens to the needs of her clients before guiding them through treatment.

With a loyal client base from all over the UK (and further afield), not just the North East, she is passionate about providing a quality service to her clients and is proud to be nominated for a Diamond Award.

“It was a complete surprise” Luisa said, “I wasn’t aware that I had been shortlisted until this week and had to call to confirm.”  Speaking about the Safety in Beauty Awards, Luisa said that they are of utmost importance to the aesthetics industry as they “give patients a voice and a place where they can seek out trusted and accurate advice.”  About her own nomination Luisa said that she is “honoured and humbled to be nominated for a Safety in Beauty Award, it’s recognition for good work and safe practice.”

Newcastle Skin Clinic is now in it’s second year of business and Luisa is showing no signs of slowing down.  With a second business, Glam Squad Express, a hair and make up studio which launched earlier this year Luisa tells us that in Newcastle it’s important to always look at what clients want and need and respond accordingly.

In her spare time, Luisa is  DJ and has worked in the hottest clubs from London to Ibiza and still dabbles now so it’s no surprise that Glam Squad Express have just launched their ‘Glam Night In‘ which Luisa tells me is a the perfect prelude to a night out in Newcastle.  Put simply, grab your Squad, turn up to have your hair and makeup done as you normally would but there’ll be  DJ spinning your favourite tunes and a champagne stocked fridge.  Sounds good right?

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The Safety in Beauty Diamond Awards will take place July 2nd in Covent Garden, London at the annual White Party.

I’ve got my fingers crossed for you Luisa!

Pixie xo

 

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How To Go Blonder with Signature Balayage at Frances Marshall

When I was invited into Sunderland‘s Most Stylish Salon - it’s a thing - you just have to take a look at their Instagram to know that they’re streets ahead of the competition, and they’re just getting started….

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Frances Marshall is the brainchild of Amelia and Marshall Hall, the brother and sister duo used their middle names to create a brand that would incorporate both of their personalities, but also be unique and fresh.  The result?  Frances Marshall was born.  They’re not new kids on the block either, the twosome have been primping and perfecting locks for as long as they can remember with Amelia having been selected to work backstage at London Fashion Week.

Located in West Sunniside, an area of Sunderland which has undergone extensive redevelopment, the salon can be found in an impressive listed building.  From the outside it’s grand and imposing, on the inside, slick, urban and modern - the perfect juxtaposition of trends which matches the ethos of Frances Marshall entirely.

“We wanted to put our own stamp on things. We wanted to introduce things that had a modern twist and were perhaps a little bit quirkier.” - Amelia Hall

The first thing you notice when you walk through the huge glass doors, is The Penny Wall. It’s exactly as it sounds, a wall, covered in individual pennies, all painstakingly placed by hand and to awesome effect - it’s become the unofficial Selfie Zone for happy clients.  The salon is fresh and vibrant and full of smiling faces and although it’s not something I’ve ever noticed anywhere else, it’s very apparent that staff and clients are happy to be here.  The colour scheme is neutral and complimented with metallic touches - its trendy, but timeless.  The salon has very clear zones - the waiting area, the retail area, the basins etc. everything looks easy, effortless and very well planned.

I’m greeted by an uber smiley Amelia and introduced to my Stylist, Ian, who takes me through the consultation process and what we’ll be doing to my hair.  You all know my hair by now, messy, shaggy, long grown out roots, pretty grungy but now that I’m starting to get the odd silver hair, I thought it was about time to cover up the root regrowth.  I tell Ian I like my hair to be pale blonde and very ashy, and he prescribes Frances Marshall’s now Insta-famous Signature Balayage with Olaplex, with skinny highlights across the parting area.  As far as consultations go, this one was a dream, Ian stretched, flexed and even played a little bit with my hair to get a feel for what he was working with and told me that by using Olaplaex, the integrity of the hair is actually preserved.  The lifting process is slowed down so you’re in the chair for longer, but the lift is controlled and where hair is already damaged (like mine), Olaplex is a no-brainer.

INTERESTING FACT ALERT: Olaplex is Kim Kardashian’s go-to when she wants to switch up her hair colour.  When she famously unveiled THAT Draco Malfoy-esque blonde bob at Balmain during the FW15 season in Paris, yep, you guessed it, Olaplex took her from that super dark brown to blonde in one easy step.

Ok, back to the story….

Ian fetches me a cafettiere of freshly ground coffee and biscuits on a tray and mixes up the colour, getting to work straight away.  Interestingly, he tells me what he’s doing as he’s doing it, something which I find really puts me at ease.  he talks passionately about the salon and his time here and tells me that colouring is his absolute favourite thing to do.  He says that he loves creating bespoke colours for clients as it can help to enhance features just as well as makeup can.

In no time at all, I’m cooking, waiting for my bespoke shades to appear, Ian explains that the next step is to wash off the colour at the basin and apply the Olaplex 2, which helps to rebuild the bonds from within the hair shaft.  I’m taken to the basin (very comfy) and we go through the process of removing the colour, applying the Olaplaex 2, and then Ian selects a toner which is also applied at the basin.  He’s a conscientious Stylist, he brings me my phone and a drink of water without being asked and says “In case you need it” with a cheeky wink.  I like this guy.  A lot.

I’m then treated to the most awesome head massage I’ve ever had, (seriously, if I didn’t make any sex noises then I deserve a medal), before being taken back over to the section.  Ian tells me that he’s going to blow-dry my hair straight because he’ll be straightening up the ends with clippers.  He tells me that by using Olaplaex and going for the least destructive method of lifting the colour, we haven’t quite reached the pale blonde stage and we’re on “pause” at Sandy Blonde, he’s confident with around two more sessions, we should be where we’re aiming for.

Bleaching hair is hard work and it can be disastrous, trust me, I know!  It’s far better to preserve the hair as much as possible and work in stages, than it is to go for full lift and risk coming home with your hair in a bag (I’ve been there too).

Once it’s dry, Ian shows me the back in the mirror and shows me exactly where he’ll be cutting and why - it’s probably worth saying here that I had a minor freak out on the morning of this appointment and decided not to have my hair cut at all.  After spending time in the salon and with Ian, I’m pretty confident that he’s not going to scalp me and so I let him trim my hair, he does it the whole time with someone holding a mirror so I can see.  Brownie points right there just for that.

 

Once we’re done, Ian talks me through the colours in my hair, he tells me that the warmth that’s in it now is a necessary stage of lifting and that we’ll absolutely be able to achieve pale perfection, but keeping the condition of the hair is essential in order for it to reflect light and appear shiny - essentially, it’s the best of both worlds but requires a little commitment from both you and your hairdresser.  There’s definitely a lot less breakage than when I’ve had my hair coloured in the past, and it doesn’t feel thin and ‘wiry’ like it sometimes can after bleaching.  It’s certainly not just hype.

So, down to business, would I recommend Frances Marshall?  Yes.  Highly.  Its a fresh, young salon in the creative district of Sunderland and they’ve carved a niche for themselves with their quirky styles and modern takes on classic looks.  They’ve managed to achieve in a very short space of time what other salons strive for in a lifetime - a signature look that can be recognised from a single photograph (#SignatureBalayage).  Seriously Voyeurs, check out their Instagram, it’s a thing of beauty.

If you’re in the North East and looking for a salon to take your look to the next level, or just somewhere that you can feel confident that you’ll be listened to, Frances Marshall should be on your emergency contacts list.

As I get up to leave, Amelia asks where I’m off to next and I tell her I’m off to the gym to train. “Hang on a minute” she says, “I’ll put you some braids in”.  How cool is that?!

Cool, quirky and modern.  These kids are going places, don’t get left behind.

Pixie x

Frances Marshall is at 40 West Sunniside, Sunderland, SR1 1BU

To book an appointment call 0191 5654080

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Decleor Aroma Blend Transformation Ritual

When I was invited by Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic to road test the brand new Aroma Blend body treatment from Decleor, I said yes without hesitation, and also without really knowing what it was…

Decleor are well renowned for their ‘plant power’; their awesome oils and botanicals feed the mind as well as the skin and the scents from their home use products are divine, it didn’t take a lot to know I’d be in for a treat.  It turns out that the Aroma Blend treatment is a brand new and bespoke treatment which will be added to the Decleor Signature Collection.  Sound a little hazy?  Let me explain….

Billed as a Transformative Ritual rather than a standard treatment, Aroma Blend is Decleor’s foray into the private blend market.  By working with each client to assess their needs and expectations, a tailored blend of oils is created and mixed, and used with a specific set of massage movements and rituals over your entire body.  This isn’t your average Full Body Massage however, so I headed off to the clinic to find out more.

I arrived at the clinic and was greeted by Danielle, a self proclaimed Massage Enthusiast.  Having trained and worked in spas all over the North East, she’s now firmly rooted at Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic and is loving being in the city centre.  She tells me that massage is her absolute favourite treatment to deliver so I know that I’m in good hands.

Danielle begins by telling me a little about the treatment and what it aims to achieve; there are four professional rituals to help with firmness, slimness, revitalising legs and flatten the stomach, each with four key benefits: firming, sculpting, stimulating and drainage.  The results according to Decleor?  Emotions are balanced, and body durably remodelled. 

Danielle asks me a series of questions and marks the responses on a client card, she tells me that these answers will advise how my particular Aroma Blend fusion should be created.  We decide to go for something energising rather than relaxing, and in terms of the massage movements used, we decide to use Refining, rather than Firming.  It’s all very prescriptive.

The massage movements themselves are very different to what you might be used to, There’s light ‘pinching’, standard muscle manipulation and pressure point release in addition to the standard effleurage and petrissage you’ve come to expect from your regular massage.  There’s also a lot more hands on and off the body rather than constant contact and a lot less product is used.  This means that rather than gliding effortlessly over slick skin, the treatment is more friction focussed and I find that I quite like this, particularly on my tired legs.

I should explain that the night before I had this treatment, I fought in a big exhibition boxing match for charity so my body was craving some sort of muscle focussed attention.  Normally I find to pretty difficult to switch off and relax but with this treatment, it happened voluntarily, the quick, sporadic movements seemed to confuse my brain into switching off entirely and I found that my muscles were receptive to the treatment, I definitely sat up afterwards feeling a lot more relaxed than I was expecting.

The ritual is absolutely a full body treatment, even the tummy area is massaged and there are breathing exercises to go along with this part of the treatment.  Sound daunting?  It really isn’t and it’s pretty effective.  The movements have been tailored to aid digestive transit and without going too in-depth, you can literally feel it working.  Fingers and toes are manipulated to stretch out the joints and your back is heated using friction before being stretched at the base of the spine, it’s a peculiar, but effective treatment and one that you have to try out to know whether it’s for you.

Personally, I enjoyed it.  I love massage, I suffer from chronic Fibromyalgia, have early onset arthritis in my right shoulder and I’m a boxer so with all of that thrown into the mix, massage is like therapy for me and it’s something my body responds to, and craves.  For me, if it delays surgery then I’m in, it’s an absolute no-brainer.  If you’re a person who enjoys massage type treatments then it could swing either way for you - if you like constant contact and long sweeping strokes then alas, this might not be the treatment for you.  But if you’re open to something new and innovative, love divine scents and are willing to put your reservations to one side, then book in, try it out and let me know how you feel afterwards.

It’s a treatment which is very new to the market, in fact, there aren’t that many Decleor salons offering it, certainly not in the North East, but I think that it’s something that will become a staple treatment for the brand.  They’re known for moving with the times, bringing new and innovative techniques to the beauty world and this is one such treatment.  Get booked in Voyeurs and give it a go.

Pixie x

Decleor Aroma Blend is £30 for one area or £60 for a full body treatment.

Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic is at 52 Northumberland Street, Newcastle, NE1 7DF.  To book call 0191 232 2800 or email enquiries@newcastlehairandbeauty.co.uk

 

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Face Facts: Beasting Beauty

I like make-up, and I love working out, but let’s be clear; the two should never, ever meet.  Make-up in the gym, that’s a big no-no right?  And I’m not alone in that opinion…

In preparation for this article, knowing that it would get (some) peoples backs up I surveyed women of various ages and abilities about their opinions on wearing make-up in the gym and a staggering 88% cam back with a resounding “Hell no, that’s just cray” and I consider myself firmly in that camp.

First of all, it’s crazy bad for your skin, clogging pores and interfering with the body’s cooling system and it serves no purpose other than to make us look better than we do without it.  That’s nothing you didn’t already know, yet despite this, and the survey results, everywhere I look in the gym, there are women wearing make-up - and lots of it.

I work out a lot, in fact I’m a Boxer and when I’m in the gym I sweat, a lot.  I don’t look pretty and I get red faced, it’s just what happens when you work out and that’s ok, but to cover all that in make up?  Come on girls, aren’t we better than that?  The recent #ThisGirlCan national campaign certainly seems to think so, with a TV commercial celebrating women of all shapes, sizes and abilities working out and looking proud (and knackered) it’s a revelation - women don’t look great in the gym and why the hell should they?  After all if you’re not sweating and panting after a workout, you’re not doing it right.

What we need are more icons working up a sweat without make-up - the Kardashian’s recently endorsed a brand of make-up specifically for the gym, claiming to be sweat proof and are regularly pictured leaving Barry’s Bootcamp in Calabasas wearing more than a slick of lipgloss.  It’s things like this that make women feel like they need to, or that it’s ok to wear make up in the gym.  It’s like saying, women should look their best at all times, everywhere they are.  Fuck that, if I want to get my sweat on, I’ll get my sweat on properly and keep my face where it is instead of all over my towel.

So, You know it’s bad for your skin, experts say it can lead to *shock horror* acne due to penetrated pores and lets be honest, it looks gross after a workout but if you absolutely can’t give up face whilst you’re in the gym, at least switch to mineral make up, I don’t know if it’s actually any better for your skin in reality under gym conditions but it sounds like it is….

Make up in the gym: it’s a no from me, but hey, who am I?  I’m just a girl who likes to work out.  Without make up.

Pixie x

Published in NELove Magazine May 2016

 

 

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Taxi For Taylor Swift…

The reincarnation of the Pop Princess formula is tried and tested; Katy Perry, Rihanna and of course the inventor herself, Madonna, are proof that reinvention is vital to the game and getting it right is critical.

What happens when reinvention goes wrong?  Enter Taylor Swift, the 2016 Punk Reboot.  If ever there was a face palm moment, it’s right now….

We first got a glimpse of that platinum, shaggy but not quite shaggy enough bob in the May edition of Vogue magazine where Taylor attempted to take on edgy haute couture; and even then Twitter was awash with backlash for the usually preened beyond perfection crossover star.

Next was Coachella, Taylor filled her Instagram with cool, edgy shots of her living it up in the desert with her famous Squad, see the thing is Taylor, you’re just not cool, edgy or street enough to pull off this look and it looks, dare I say it, a bit desperate…

The low point came last night.  Cue the Met Gala 2016 and the grandiose Manus x Machina theme - Man and Machine, Fashion and Technology - oh the possibilities for robot chic and space age gowns and I have to admit Voyeurs, the prospect of a glittering red carpet had me jittery in the run up to the event itself.  As Co-Chair of the 2016 Met Gala and associated Costume Gala, there was a certain impetus on Taylor to impress, after all, she’d be sharing the flower wall with Anna Wintour and Co-Chair and very dapper Idris Elba so there was no doubt she’d be planning her outfit to perfection.  Or so we thought….

As Taylor made her way from her hotel to The Met, the only inkling of the atrocity ahead was the ribboned gladiator sandals poking out from beneath her military trench as she made her duck-toed entrance to the Gala.

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As Taylor made her entrance to the Met Gala the internet went in to overdrive with most critics slating her choice of outfit, personally I went with a Folly from Morph comparison, far less harsh than some of the comments and critiques doing the rounds, Taylor can’t have felt comfortable turning up like that, from her hair, to her make up to her appalling choice of frock, this look was wrong on so many levels, just look how pissed Anna Wintour looks at having to do a photocall with Taylor in the line up…

There’s nothing edgy, cool or clever here, just a little girl trying to play dress up and hang out with the big girls.  Harsh?  Yes.  True?  Also yes.  There’s no denying Taylor can write a killer break up song but when it comes to fashion, it’s not your bag baby, with neither the face nor the balls, it’s time you got back in the recording studio.

I would say kudos to this hot little Bacofoil mess for trying but I think it might have been best if she’d stayed home with Dr Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson for company.  In the words of Jack Johnson, “Poor Taylor….”

Pixie x

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