Victoria’s Secret

universal-contour-wrap

Gangsta Wrapper - Universal Contour Wrap

A little while ago you’ll remember that on the recommendation of two very high profile Victoria’s Secret Angels, I dabbled in a Universal Contour Wrap at Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic.  Well, after chatting to staff in the clinic I discovered a little beauty hack that might just blow your mind…..

Obviously you know that the Universal Contour Wrap is not a magic weight loss method. You’re not going to lose anything other than toxins and water, and of course reap the benefits of amazing, velvety soft skin.  But, did you know that if you combine three wraps over a course of three weeks, you could see combined total inch loss of 18 inches?!  Mind. Blown.

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It’s no secret that I had a pretty crappy New Year and add to that being diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, failing my medical for my next boxing bout and just generally having done everything to excess, I was neither looking, nor feeling my best.  I booked in for a course of three Universal contour Wraps each taking place seven days apart at newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic (who, incidentally have now seen me naked exactly the same number of times as they’ve seen me clothed).

Now, if you’ve read my earlier post about this treatment, and I’m assuming you have, you’ll know that it takes place in a warm room where you strip down to your underwear and are wrapped neck to toe in warm, clay soaked bandages before being packed into a NASA worthy space suit.  The whole process is weirdly relaxing (and now second nature to me), it’s not uncomfortable or intimidating, these girls work in beauty and trust me, they’ve seen everything and are completely unfazed by it, in fact it barely registers any more.  If you’re nervous about your body and that’s the only thing holding you back from this really great treatment, don’t be.  Step through the door, get to know the staff and trust me, you’ll be standing in your underwear chatting about the school run and what you’re planning for dinner in no time.

My particular “Wrap Girl” Kayleigh, is amazing, funny, upbeat, attentive and has a killer laugh.  She guided me through the treatment and how the course of three differs from the one off;  at your first appointment you’ll be measured pre and post wrap, you’re marked up with little points so that the measurements are taken in the exact same place.  At the second appointment there’s no measuring at all so you’re straight into the bandages and relaxing in your space suit in minimal time.  By the time the third wrap comes around on day 21, you’re measured post wrap and your inch loss is unveiled to a fanfare. (Ok, maybe there isn’t a fanfare but it’s still pretty exciting.)

Now I feel that I should add a disclaimer here, I fractured and dislocated my thumb boxing somewhere between December and January and once the injury was discovered, I was ruled out of any gym / boxing training and that included the entire three weeks that I was ‘wrapping’ meaning that I wasn’t exercising at all - something new for me having come from doing an average of nine training sessions per week.  However, I was still pretty damn shocked and delighted to discover that from first to third wrap, I had lost an incredible 15 inches globally.

Now these inches can come from any of the many measuring sites and hugely depend on where you store toxins and water.  So, for one person losing inches from their abdomen, another will lose it from their thighs and butt.  Similarly it can be lost from ankles, wrists and ribs etc. the treatment is so individual, you can never base your expected results on those of someone else.  What you can absolutely guarantee though, is an inch loss result and that guarantee, from Universal Contour Wrap themselves, is iron clad.

So, it got me thinking.  You could be overweight, injured, recovering from surgery, in need of a pick me up, or even in the case of Karlie Kloss, have the perfect body, but we’re always striving for better; and personally, I never settle for complacency.  Not the type of treatment I’d usually advocate, but this one, I believe, is a little bit special.  Like a detox from the outside in, skin is left glowing and silky smooth, a feeling which lasts for days after and that really does affect how you feel about yourself.  I have a holiday coming up in June and if I can train to get into fight ready shape and also help myself out by indulging in this treatment then goddamn it there’s nothing wrong with a helping hand!  15 inches with no training, right after new year is impressive. Fact.  Just think how that would make you feel if there was a special occasion on the horizon, Valentines Day, an Easter City Break, a Summer holiday……..

Yes, it’s not permanent but it’s visible, it’s evident and you’ll feel it in your clothes.  If it gets you through your prom / big date / wedding / *insert super important event here* and leaves your skin glowing, then it was worth it right?

So go, book up, shed your inhibitions and try it….

Pixie x

One Universal Contour Wrap at newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic is £55, or a course of three is £145.  Voyeurs can book online or by phone 0191 2322800

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Karlie Kloss for Kurt Geiger SS16

Karlie Kloss is everywhere these days; if she’s not strutting down a runway or giving good face on the cover of your favourite glossy, then she’s in the gym honing her now infamous physique.

Having hung up her Victoria’s Secret wings for good in 2014, Kloss announced that she was going back to school and became a poster girl for Women in Coding everywhere, however 2016 looks set to be the year that Kloss invades the high street.  With a campaign already unveiled for Topshop, Kloss is out to prove that just because the truly amazing haircut that sent her career stratospheric is gone, it doesn’t mean that the girl underneath it is.

Enter British shoe mecca Kurt Geiger…..

Kurt Geiger: Hey Karlie, we think you’re gorgeous and would love to have you front our latest Everything But the Dress campaign, what do you think?

Karlie Kloss: Well that sounds cool but since the whole Victoria’s Secret thing I’m really known for my Kookies and my endless gym shots so we’d have to work one of those into the theme somewhere….

KG: Hmmm, Kookies and shoes sounds messy, how about we go with the fitness theme?

KK: Sounds great. How much are you paying me?

KG: Like, a gazillion dollars

KK: I’m in.

…. I’m speculating, maybe that’s how it went.

The official line on the casting from the brand themselves is this: “Kurt Geiger unveil Karlie Kloss as the face of the Spring Summer 16 campaign. Shot by Erik Torstensson, the mood of the collection is energetic sports-luxe, where fashion pumps iron to powerful effect.”  And there’s no denying that the images are beautiful, if a little contrived and you already know that I’m a huge Karlie Kloss fan.  However, it does feel a little like Kloss’s love of fitness has been shoehorned into the campaign just to give her an identity - one she absolutely doesn’t need.

On shooting the campaign, Kloss said “I loved being part of the Kurt Geiger spring/summer campaign. I’ve always been a fan of this iconic brand not only for being a perfect red carpet look, but also, now, for every day running from the gym to work and everything in between! Rebecca’s vision for this collection brilliantly works for women who do it all.”  Again, there’s that casual reference to fitness.  Let’s remember people that Kurt Geiger is a brand synonymous with glamour in Britain and not known for it’s gym shoes or sneakers.

The collection itself looks pretty slick, casual cool, made using flexible materials and comprising effortless swimwear, sport sandal hybrids, sneakers in soft snake-cut leathers and frilly flatforms are made for fashion on the go.  Contemporary yet simple, the flatform sandals and leather espadrilles will make for SS16 holiday essentials however it’s unlikely we’ll see any of them in the gym any time soon.  Unless you’re Karlie Kloss, and even then it’s pretty unlikely.

“The campaign is about fashion designed for real life.” Says Creative Director, Rebecca Farrar-Hockley. Having known Erik Tortensson for over 12 years, the duo have worked together many times. Finding their inspiration from each other and the product, they continue to create fresh, innovative campaigns.

The Kurt Geiger SS16 collection is landing in store and online imminently.

 

 

 

 

Universal Contour Wrap

Well it’s official, we’re into December; a  month of Christmas parties and doing everything we love to excess.  If you’ve overdone it already or you have a slinky little party dress to get into then I may just have the perfect treatment for you….

Voyeurs, I give you the Universal Contour Wrap - hugely popular in the eighties and nineties with housewives and fitness fanatics the world over, this treatment is having a bit of a revival.  In a nutshell the Universal Contour Wrap is pretty similar to mummification, minus the grizzly death.  You’re GUARANTEED an inch loss result globally of 6″ and anything above this is a bonus, what’s better is that if you’re sensible, you can maintain it for 30 days or more.

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During my time at New York fashion Week in September and even the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London last year, the backstage buzz amongst the models was, yes, you guessed it: the Universal Contour Wrap.  With models stating the benefits of the Wrap in addition to their gruelling workout schedules as skin tightening and toning.

Don’t get me wrong, these girls don’t owe their bodies to this treatment, but it’s undoubtedly used for its awesome and undeniable benefits.  Whether it’s to give skin a glossy sheen, a firm touch or to shift an extra couple of inches before a big event, this treatment is about to be back on your radar in a big way.

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THE PROCESS

The Classic Body Wrap is a full body treatment taking around two hours and is always performed by a therapist trained in the specific process.

  1. Before the treatment, your therapist will measure you at particular points on the body.
  2. Bandages which have been pre-soaked in a Clay Solution are then applied using specialist wrapping techniques.
  3. You then wear Vinyl suit to keep warm while you lie back and relax for an hour while the treatment gets to work.
  4. After 60 minutes your bandages are removed, your therapist will re-measure and deliver your inch loss result.

Fresh from Fashion Month, I hit up Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic to try out the Universal Contour Wrap and found it surprisingly relaxing.  I was meticulously measured at specific points which were marked with a pen so that the exact same points could be remeasured.  Then, wrapped neck to toe in bandages and wearing what can only be described as a spacesuit, I fell asleep for 45 minutes and was gently woken up when it was time to remove the bandages.

I was warned in advance that I was unlikely to see a huge inch loss result - I’m training for a boxing bout and currently shredding - but both myself and my lovely therapist Kayleigh were shocked to see that I’d actually lost a total of 7.5″ all over.  Something neither of us were expecting, me out of mild skepticism and Kayleigh out of fear there was nothing to lose.

As well as the unexpected inch loss, I can honestly say that after this treatment, my skin has never felt better.  All the Tom Ford Oud Wood Body Lotion in the world can’t replicate the effect this wrap has on your skin - toned, tightened and silky smooth but also with a soft sheen which lasts for days.  I can see why the Victoria’s Secret Angels are hooked.

Interested?  Of course you are!  Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic in the heart of the city are offering this treatment for just £55 and better still, they have availability in the run up to Christmas.  What’s that you say, how do you contact them?  Give them a call on 0191 2322800 and get your party dress ready.

Pixie x

 

 

 

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Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show London 2014

IMG_6016Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’ll know that last week Earls Court played host to one of the biggest fashion extravaganzas in the calendar: the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.   I was invited along to the press recording of the show and to meet the super famous Victoria’s Secret Angels and models.

The Angels began their long journey to the UK by boarding Angel Airways and once they’d touched down in Blighty, we got the call to make our way to the Bond Street store for a press photocall.  The Angels posed up a storm outside the store before making their way inside and up to the VIP shopping suite.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is performed and recorded in full twice.  The best angles and performances are edited into one final cut and this then makes up the VS Fashion Show that you see on TV.  I’m invited to the first show of the day, which is for press, the evening is for celebrities, personalities and people who’ve paid tens of thousands of pounds for tickets just to get a glimpse of those perfect bodies.

IMG_6095As I arrive at Earls Court I’m ushered though the showspace to the backstage area where myself and a million other journalists have access to the Angels whilst they’re in hair and make up for the pre-show. I spot American beauty Karlie Kloss in a VS Directors chair and make my way over; she tells me that she’s “Instagramming everything”. She’s every bit as gorgeous as you might expect, lithe and tall, I mean really tall! I thought I was pretty tall at a little over 5’10” but she’s definitely taller than me and she isn’t wearing any shoes.  She’s having a weave fitted for the show and is happy to chat and get this, she even tells me she likes my hair!  Let me tell you something about Miss Kloss: the gal got serious brow game, talk about on fleek!

Further down the room Candice Swanepoel has hopped up onto a table and is blowing kisses to the paparazzi who are lapping it up, I head over to snap a few pictures.  I’m surprised at how small she is in comparison to some of the other Angels, and her famous waist?  It’s completely and utterly teeny tiny!  I’d go so far as to say it’s probably smaller than my eight year old gymnast sister’s and that’s no joke!

IMG_6060There’s so much to take in here and so many models, it’s the biggest show that Victoria’s Secret have ever produced and for the first time ever there’ll be two, two million dollar Fantasy Bras worn by Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.  I make my way around the huge room snapping away at the various models having their hair and make up done, some of them are posing in small groups for pictures and they’re happy to take direction for the perfect shot.  There’s a graffiti wall and the Angels are taking turns to spray buzzwords they associate with London, it’s all for the press of course but it genuinely looks like they’re enjoying themselves here in our Capital.  

We’re called in teams through to the VS Anti Gravity Room for another photo op and we get to see the Angels having more fun larking around in a glass box with an upside down room set up.

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 As we’re told to make our way though to the runway for the show to begin, I spot Olivier Rousteing interviewing the angels as they pass, pausing only to take selfies.

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 IMG_6169The make up area that was buzzing with life just moments ago is now empty and the lights have dimmed, we’re ushered through a door into the darkened showspace and told to take our seats as there’s just twenty minutes until go time.

The atmosphere here is electric and everyone is chatting, about the fantasy bras mostly; we’ve already been allowed to see them up close and personal on mannequins and they’re out of this world.  I can’t wait to see them literally on the flesh.

The show has been divided up into distinct themes, each theme has a name and its own section of the show:

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The show opens with Exotic Traveller and Behati Prinsloo takes to the runway in a pair of huge arched golden wings and a massive smile to boot and with that we’re off.  The looks just keep coming with only a short break between theme changes to set the scene and the big screens show us candid backstage shots of the models queued up to soak up there two minutes of runway glory.

IMG_6461As Ed Sheeran takes to the stage to perform, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio appear together in matching Fantasy Bra’s worth a cool $2 million each.  As the show progresses, it’s clear that this is a really big deal, each show takes over a year to put together and the costumes, all painstakingly handmade, can take up to two years from conception to completion.  The team behind the VS Fashion Show are constantly two steps ahead, working to make each show bigger, better, longer and more extravagant than the last.  If you think back to the nineties when Victoria’s Secret was little more than a US lingerie brand, the shows were small and underwhelming whereas today it’s a full-blown production with Ed Razek sourcing only the best performers for the live show and the best models for the runway.

As far as the modelling gig goes, only the very best are chosen to represent the brand, and of those few, the elite are promoted to the highly coveted Angel status.  Miranda Kerr once said “When you’re a Victoria’s Secret Angel you can do anything” and I think she has a point.

The roster of performers for the show include Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Hozier who exclusively unveils sure to be hit song Take Me To Church, and Taylor Swift (there are rumours swirling backstage that Taylor will walk in the next VS Fashion Show).

235960-6dc297fa-7b31-11e4-a5bc-35c16e67e1c8Taylor is flirty and playful with the Angels on the runway and looks completely at home, she pauses mid-song to twirl Karlie Kloss in her wings and then struts her way back to the end of the runway.   Clearly the headliner, she gets two separate performances throughout the show, showcasing a number of songs from her album 1989.  Poor Ariana Grande narrowly misses being wiped out by Elsa Hosk wearing a huge graffiti tag during University of Pink, but still manages to give a flawless performance.  Phew!

The sets for each show segment are amazing and for something that’s billed as a Fashion Show, it’s so much more than that, it’s an annual spectacle, and the models really make it.  They’re given free reign on the runway, when they reach the end of the runway they each take their turn to flirt with the camera, winking, blowing kisses and waving, these girls are pro’s and they know it.

The finale of the show is Angel Ball, the Angels walk on a black and white checkerboard in an array of amazing black ensembles, as they reach the end of the runway black and white balloons drop from the ceiling and cover the stage an audience and once again the Angels switch into Fun Mode and stride through them blowing kisses as they go.

After the show there’s an opportunity to go backstage for the obligatory Class of 2014 photo op and we get to hang out with the Angels some more, some of them are still in their costumes, others are in their Angel robes, but all of them are up for a giggle and a photo.  It’s easy to see why each of these girls has been cast; it’s more than having an amazing body, long legs and rock hard abs, it’s more than being staggeringly beautiful, it’s about having all of those things and a rocking personality, being able to switch it on at the drop of a hat.  None of these girls moan, they’re all happy to be here and it shows, there are no diva antics backstage, they’re all up for a bit of mischief and the relaxed atmosphere here really helps to bring that out.

At £12k per ticket it’s hella expensive and only available through an exclusive concierge service but in the industry it’s one of the hottest tickets around and I’m super pleased (and lucky) to be able to say that it was staged in my City and that I was invited along for the ride!

Pixie x

The full 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show can be viewed here (if you look hard you can spot me in the background during the backstage takes):

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