When the Christmas lights go on in Southend High Street, you know that the festive season is upon us - and not only that, with it comes a round of social engagements that keep going through to the New Year.
The #MeToo movement has had a seismic effect on social politics and naturally the fashion and beauty industry has wasted little time in putting the notion of female strength at the forefront of catwalk shows and hence into the pages of glossy magazines, national newspapers and influential blogs.
Deadlines being what they are I’m writing this month’s column in August and, as I type, it is a glorious day. We’ve enjoyed a long, hot summer with very little rain. But as the local, cheesily cheerful radio station plays ‘Dream’s Things Can Only Get Better’, I can’t help but think that things can only get wetter.
I know, last month's column was all about poolside hair and beauty and I don't want to labour the point, but let's be honest, it'll soon be autumn and we'll all be going about the place under brollies and bundled up against the cold, so let's celebrate the summer while we can!
Years ago, I was lazing by a very swanky hotel pool overlooking the Med, when a very glamorous woman sashayed to one of the nearby loungers. Everything about her was immaculate; hair, manicure, pedicure and makeup. This girl was the epitome of PREPARED FOR THE POOL. I even envied her sparkly bikini, but that's another story. Over the course of my holiday, I was able to observe her daily catwalk from the hotel, down the steps to the poolside area and she remained impeccably turned out. Even after taking a dip. Here's how I think she did it…
On May 19th we all fell in love with Meghan Markle when she married Prince Harry... Unless you actually want a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, the key to wedding beauty is to keep things simple. Don't make dramatic changes, leave the spray tan in its can and ditch any ideas of botox, and really, what is the point of vajazzling??!!
Last month I introduced you to my cycling friend Adam and his insistence on only using fake tan on the parts of his body that are exposed to the sun whilst riding out on his bike. He's been up to his tricks again. The other day he sauntered into the salon, plonked himself into one the stylist's chairs and asked for a ‘Brian Holm'. Previously, he has requested a ‘Marcel', which caused no end of confusion. It turned out he didn't want a hairstyle from the 1870's but one replicating that of German cycling superstar, Marcel Kittel.
Unless you are fortunate enough to live ‘The Life' – by which I mean spending winter in the Caribbean and enjoying subsequent cheeky weekends in sunny climes whenever the mood suits – the harsh weather and lack of sunshine can leave some of us looking somewhat ghost-like. Even though we live in officially the warmest and driest part of the UK, it would still be unreasonable to go about the place sporting a natural Mediterranean glow during the early days of spring. But a little help – from a tube, bottle or spray gun - can you give a fabulous confidence boost as you prepare to break out your t-shirts and shorts for summer.
Could Spring finally be here? The signs are just about there; what with the longer days and the joy of bright blue skies and sunshine with a little warmth in it. As spring gently elbows winter out of the way, you may like to consider a fresh new look for yourself. There's plenty of hairstyles and trends for you to try; whether it's an old school headscarf teamed with a blunt fringe, school girl plaits or a super-short buzz cut, spring is the perfect excuse to test out some of the hottest looks from the international catwalks and bring them to Southend-on-Sea.
Despite the generally dismal cold weather and short days, the gloom of February is always lifted by St Valentine's Day. So, if you've got a hot date lined up, make sure romance is in the (h)air with my top tips. Get an eyeful - Start by curling your lashes. Gently pinch lashes at the roots and then move along the length, making pulse-like squeezes as you go. Apply mascara by wiggling the wand back and forth at the roots to deposit as much of it as possible before pulling the wand straight up. To make lashes look long and separated, apply three coats of mascara but comb through the mascara while it's still wet with a clean, dry spooley brush.
If the catwalks of Paris, Milan, New York and London are anything to go by, this year's coolest cuts can be labelled under ‘What goes around, comes around.' In some ways, this is a good thing. Especially if you're naturally conservative, have found a style that works for you and are not having a mid-life crisis. If you're in this bracket, then styles labelled as ‘Natural Lengths', ‘Relaxed Curls', ‘Headbands', ‘Side Partings' and ‘New Generation Ponytails' will make you feel on-point in the fashion stakes.