long blonde hair
This has been such a bizarre month of beauty-related highs and lows for me. While I’ve discovered some absolute gems – especially in spa services (hashtag birthday month!) – I have also been dealing with the literal fallout of going to a hairdresser I didn’t know or trust last-minute while in America.

Thankfully, my poor ravaged baby hairs have found solace (and you’ll see how, below)!

Secret Spa
Before my last trip, I had been so busy and running so low on time to pack that I felt incredibly ill-prepared for all that travel entails. I needed to take a moment out. And found that moment with Secret Spa. The mobile beauty service (both available through their app and online) books appointments with elite beauty therapists in the comfort of your home, at a time that works for you, and takes mere seconds to do so.

I booked in with Charlotte – a hair stylist and nail tech – to give me a blow dry and beach-ready pedicure the second after I knew I would finish packing and was successfully prepped – mentally and physically – less than one hour later. With nail, waxing, massage, hair, makeup, facial, spray tan, and even lash treatments available, Secret Spa is a foolproof Uber for beauty junkies.

ChinUp Mask
Suggesting it would erase a double chin in 30 minutes, this product was simply too bizarre not to try. Essentially, ChinUp asks you to measure around your chin, apply a mask, secure it with a terrifying-looking band, wait 30 minutes of skin-tingles, and remove everything to reveal a 2cm loss in chin fat.

It sounds ridiculous…but it works. The mask’s serum boosts collagen (helping to contour), contains Q10 co-enzyme (a strong antioxidant to relief dry, dehydrated skin & stimulate cell renewal), and utilizes active ingredients to help all of its natural plant extracts to sink in and reduce the appearance of fat.

While I very much doubt this is a long-term solution for those of us with proper (non-water retention) double chins, it would be a dream to use in the lead up to a big event, photoshoot, wedding, or – like me – when you’re feeling sick and can’t face your puffy, dehydrated profile in the mirror.

The Moroccan Spa Limited Edition Detox Ritual in Urban Retreat at Harrods
During this treatment, I could not stop thinking I was living out some sort of Jasmine-in-Aladdin dream life.

I mean, Harrods and Urban Retreat tend to make me feel that way on their own but this was different.

In the spa’s hammam, I was sat down to relax and breathe in steam before being taken to my own hammam area for an incredibly indulgent wash and Kessa scrub by the practitioner. Different to a normal ‘spa scrub’, this process is incredibly meditative and thorough, allowing intense oxygenation of the skin, microcirculation of the blood, and a slough of dry skin that you can see and feel immediately.

Completely prepped, my full body was then wrapped – with a special focus on detoxifying energy points – in Rhassoul mud, organic honey, and peppermint oil. With the wrap hard at work, I was then treated to a short facial with the same products and eventually rinsed clean – top to tail – before taking some time to read and drink fresh mint tea in the relaxation area.

It was unadulterated bliss.

My current hair hero products:
Oh Bee Hive by Tigi –
This dry shampoo is my new (and convincingly all-time) favourite. As well as an adorable name and bottle, Oh Bee Hive soaks up excess oil within seconds, leaves no residue, boosts volume, and – most importantly – feels clean.

K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor by Joico –
Remember my aforementioned hair woes? This has been a lifesaver. This hair mask (‘Reconstructor’) actually uses a combination of amino acids and Joico’s Quadramine Complex (theirr famous protein-stocked repair formula) to genuinely rebuild and fortify damaged locks in as little as five minutes.

I was skeptical to begin with, especially as it smells like a useless bottle of sweet banana heaven, but the results speak for themselves. The longer it’s left, the less breakage I deal with. The more I use it, the less insane my hair texture becomes. I love it.

Toni & Guy Style Fix Curler
The new TONI&GUY Style Fix Stylers are handbag-sized professional styling tools and – unlike ones I’ve trialled previously – are genuinely as good as their full-sized counterparts.

Best of all? Each product (straightener, waver, and curler) is designed to protect your hair & colour as it smoothes with their Ceramic Tourmaline plates and boasts world-wide voltage (is there anything else more travel blogger friendly?). Whether you fancy a spruce up from your gym bag or carry-on, there will be a Style Fix styler perfect for you.

…and last but not least, Live True London (you can thank them for the hair porn, above)
Long-time readers will remember Gro as the salon that made me blonde over two years ago (how time flies!), but may not have yet to hear of Live True London.

The kicker? They’re the same salon.

After a rebrand, Live True have maintained seven kickass hair salons across London and seemed like the perfect place to fix the ongoing fried-hair disaster I was caused months prior in America. The order of the day? Tackle the roots, drown it in Olaplex, chop off the damage, and add a clip-in Lullabellz hair piece to style (don’t worry, you’ll be seeing much more of those in my upcoming 90s Get Ready With Me vlog).

Long story short, Paco Latorre (of Live True London Vauxhall) is a genius. He colour matched the extensions to perfection, added a tonne of life to my hair with Olaplex’s three-step molecular bond-builders, and chopped off enough hair to keep my extension-free mane in recovery without making me cry.

I could not be happier.

beauty favourites january 2017
coffee and hair