Sunday, September 7, 2008

Beauty products

I'm not afraid to admit I'm as susceptible to beauty mistakes as the next person — or that there have been some pretty comical ones. At school, for example, a DIY home hair-mask recipe caused me inadvertantly to scramble an egg on my head (I didn't get the importance of rinsing with lukewarm water).

A couple of vigorous washes was all it took to correct, but had I had to live for weeks instead of hours with the sulphurous smell it left behind, I would really have rued the day I experimented with my beauty routine. And that is where more durable treatments can fall down. Regular readers may remember me writing about the Daniel Hersheson permanent blow-dry treatment a couple of months back. At the time, the thought of being able to wash and (immediately) wear my usually wavy/frizzy hair without having to smooth out various sections with the hairdryer convinced me to give it a whirl. For the first couple of weeks I was glad I had. I could merrily skip out of the shower, dress and move straight onto make-up without any tiresome blow-drying. My hair didn't exactly look blow-dried in that swingy way it should, but it was definitely less unruly.

I feel it only right, however, to give an update now that it has had a chance to settle. The fact is that, while the treatment contains conditioning clays, there's no denying the fact that it is a chemical process and, hence, not especially good for the hair. The frizz is still somewhat tamed, but my hair is now also permanently lank and unable to last more than a day without feeling coated in a tacky residue. I'm not alone in my disappointment. A colleague tried it and found that the only effect it had on her hair was to exacerbate her frizz, and some hairdressers I have consulted have seen clients who have tried the procedure and been similarly disappointed.

On the plus side, I've discovered some great reconditioning products — a dose of Kérastase Forcintense (£24; 0800 316 4400) after each wash and Real Base Conditioning Haircare Mist (£17; really help infuse moisture back in. And, as with a bad cut, it is only a matter of time before it grows out. Plus, the human guinea pig aspect of this job does require me to take the rough with the smooth — so hopefully you don't have to.

Lust of the week

YSL's new Rouge Volupté is a statement lipstick if ever there was one. The decadent gold casing gives it a jewel-like quality, and the handy mirror on the lid is proof that this is meant to be applied in public. The substance within this stylish outerwear? A luscious,glossy formula whose colours don't lose any of their clout for coming in a high-shine finish.

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