Fringe Benefits: Styling with Sassoon Salon London

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My instagram followers will already know that a couple of weeks ago I had an appointment with the Sassoon Salon in Central London for a little bit of a re-style.  I worked with uber-stylist Lidia Marino who has handled my curly locks many times before: this time I set her a new challenge, to work in a fringe for new style for me.

Fringes seem a very a beautiful way to enhance the face shape and provide more styling opportunities.  Lidia approved right from the start: “From shorter and above the brow to softer and a heavier bowl shape, fringes will always look chic and cool and will instantly freshen up your look”.

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How do I choose my fringe style? 

Lidia believes that a side-fringe is the easiest to maintain and suits most people.  She commented: “Fuller fringes are flattering on girls with big eyes and an oval-shaped face.”  To get the best from your fringe, I learned that you need to blow-dry in the direction you want it to fall (a Ceramic Vess Brush will ensure a sleek finish) and finally spritz with a hairspray.  Lidia used Sassoon Professional, Heat Shape on me as I have super curly hair: “This product is the perfect daily blow-dry spray with heat styling protection that gives amazing shine without making your look greasy and weighed down” Lidia told me.

Spring Summer 2014 styling tip: 

Keep your fringe super sleek and keep the texture rough at the ends of your hair. Apply heat protector throughout the lengths of the hair, then dry smooth with a hair dryer, a large paddle brush will ensure a sleek finish. Style your fringe and use the straighteners through if necessary. Finish by running product through with your fingers to break it up, concentrating on the ends for a tousled, undone look.

Deciding whether or not to take the face-framing plunge can be one of the most unnerving style commitments you can make. Lidia Marino gave me her top tips on what you should consider…

THE TRIMS:  Hair grows about a half an inch a month and just a fraction of that amount will change the way your fringe compliments your style. Lidia suggests popping into your salon for a fringe trim every two weeks to keep it perfectly polished.

EXTRA STYLING TIME IS NON-NEGOTIABLE:  Fringes take styling priority. If you’re in a rush, slightly dampen just your fringe, then blast strands with a hair dryer to reshape them.  However, for a more lived-in finish gently lift the roots with your fingers as you blow-dry.

WORK WITH, NOT AGAINST, YOUR HAIR TEXTURE:  When you have finer hair, getting fringes can create instant volume, simply because the front section of hair appears thicker. For thick, even coarse or wavy hair, opt for a longer fringe that can easily be pushed to the side and having a little movement to hair actually works with the finish. 

DITCH THE STRAIGHTENER:  A hot iron to smooth strands of your fringe is for sure a fast fix. Only go over hair quickly with an iron if hair is very coarse or curly, otherwise, a hair dryer and brush is all you need. Using a paddle brush pull the hair at the root, pull it straight through to the ends without curling them under, then repeat until hair is completely dry. Lidia reminds her clients point the hairdryer in downward direction and use lots of tension to pull the curls straight. 

With thanks to Sassoon Salon for the styling.  Visit the Sassoon Salon Website to find your nearest salon and book your appointment!

Photo: Beth Morton.

Under the Boardwalk: Cropped Tops & Warm Coats

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Zara-crop-top-styleonthecouch-1Cropped tops and warm coats, you say? Yes, Blog Reader, welcome to a beach shoot in the East of England.  Best laid plans and all that…

Last week I hung out with photographer James Chastney in Great Yarmouth, one of those wonderfully predictable English seaside towns (cue: rain, wind and umbrellas) full of old amusement rides, candy floss kiosks and the obligatory carousel.  In between dodging showers during which we challenged each other in the arcades we found some shelter underneath the pier (not so much shelter from the wind perhaps!) for some photos.

I’m always about keeping things simple with black, white and denim and summer whites in particular seem such hot property for 2014. Hence the investment in this simple tee with a twist here.  I swear that some of the most amazing pieces from Zara come and go in the blink of an eye – not only did I spy this Balenciaga-style cropped, frilled and layered top in store without getting a whiff of it on the Zara website beforehand; I couldn’t find the link back to the style by the time I wrote this post two weeks later. In the hope it may appear again – here is a link to some similar styles.  Wear with high-waisted jeans or full skirt, or pair with white trousers if you dare.

It’s a long bank holiday weekend here in England, which for me means lots of free time after a very busy week (you’ll notice the absence of posting, due to work and traveling here there and everywhere).  Tonight I’m spending some time catching up on my favourite blogs and browsing online.  I’m also finishing off some posts about my recent trip to Iceland, so check back soon if you want some travel and shopping trips for Reykjavik and beyond.

Wearing: Zara top; ASOS Ridley high-waist jeans; Marks & Spencer coat; Shoe the Bear sneakers.

Photographer: The awesome James Chastney.

Make-up artist: With thanks to Flamingo Amy.

Monochrome me: Oxo Tower Restaurant London South Bank

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One of my favourites places to lunch in style in London is the Oxo Tower Restaurant on London’s South Bank.  A favorite for on-location filming (Natalie Portman re-discovers Thor here in “The Dark World”) the restaurant is modern and minimal with wonderful views across the Thames from its 8th floor position.

Their cocktail list is a superb range of old and new: try the ‘Room with a View’ ~ a decadent mix of Sipsmith London dry gin, kirsch eau de vie, chocolate bitters & cherry sugar syrup charged with OXO brut champagne.  My husband stuck to his favourite ‘Manhattan’ (you can take the man out of America but…) and I the champagne, though it was a close call between that and the ‘Mad Hatter’ ~ Chase Marmalade vodka, Kamm & Sons ginseng spirit built with cassis, fresh lemon juice & honey with a dash of 1901 Absinthe.  (I deemed the green fairy too much in light of the long day of exploring we had ahead of us…)

I like the restaurant because for all the chic-ness of the design, the attention to detail in the menu description and food presentation, the extensive wine list and the spectacular views, the service is relaxed and food is very tasty. There is a set lunch menu – my main course of salmon raviolo, leeks, samphire, herbs and champagne sauce was the highlight.  If you find yourself on London’s South Bank and in need of rest and sustenance, do try the Oxo Tower.

Wearing: Hatch Collection long sleeved tee;  Joseph leather pants;  Dune boots.  Carrying Wink & Winn cross body bag.  

Images of the Oxo Tower: TimeOut and Steve Kelly.  Photos of me: William Williams.