Sunday Tittle Tattle: and then she was Blonde

nicola clarke colorist

I’ve gone blonder for the summer, thanks to Nicola Clarke at John Frieda* who took me at my word when I flippantly said “I want to be loads blonder!” I had almost forgotten I’d even said it when the towel came off for my blow-dry and I saw my new, bright blonde locks.

I feel so much better with lighter hair. My makeup looks fresher (I need less of it), my hair doesn’t get greasy as quickly and the lighter colour somehow seems to be hiding my ridiculous broken-off sections that have been growing back in after the post-partum hair loss. Massive bonus.

nicola clarke colorist

I’ve been gradual-gradual-tanning my face with my Hylamide Glow (sorry to bang on about this stuff so much, I’ll swap soon and test out something new for you) and the sunkissed skin looks great with my crisp, clean blonde highlights. I don’t really put my face in the sun any more so it’s nice to look as though I’ve been on a bit of a holiday – foundation needs are quite minimal, most days, and I just sheer it out and tap a bit of concealer underneath my eyes. Unless I’m on camera or particularly knackered in which case I do the full priming, colour-correcting, base-buffing routine…

Anyway, an odd post for a Sunday Tittle Tattle, but I’ve had loads of  photos taken recently and realised that I hadn’t even mentioned my new do! I think I probably need a bit of a trim, now – some shape cut through the bottom so that the ends are less heavy. It’s quite hard to get my hair to do anything at the moment, it just sort of hangs there with a bored expression. Ding-ding, hop on the hair bus, next stop Chopsville! What do you reckon? Three inches off?

*I had my hair coloured at John Frieda in Mayfair – details here.

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Weekly Christmas Shop: Gifts for Men | AD

Right. This is always the tricky one, isn’t it? Presents for the man/men in your life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your Dad, boyfriend or brother, the things that are regularly paraded in front of us as suitable Christmas offerings are just so…drab! I’ve tried to give a mix of the practical and the pleasant, here – a few great gadgets, some hopefully non-obvious grooming stuff and a couple of frivolous bargains…

Let’s start with a few facial-hair-orientated things. For Christmas is the time to shake up his shaving routine! And also to replenish the sock supply in his underwear drawer, but I’m steering clear of socks here. It’s all about the gadgets and the nice, scented oily things.

johnny chop shop beard oil

Johnny’s Chop Shop Beard Oil – looks like something you’d pick up in the cool New York Apothecary C.O. Bigelow, but is actually a mere £6 at Boots here. Get it. Fill stockings with it. And if he’s into his beard maintenance, he’ll also need the next thing on the list…

mens christmas gift guide

Mr AMR’s first comment when the Philips Series 7000 Beard Trimmer came through the postbox: “wouldn’t this be an amazing idea for grooming the dog?” Honestly, I can’t take the man anywhere. Although, I see his point – this nifty gadget has an in-built vacuum to hoover up all of the beard debris as it comes flying off. Is that not just a little bit genius? Less mess (it catches up to 90% of the trimmings), a cleaner bathroom and the soles of your feet won’t look like the Gruffalo’s after you’ve stood at the sink to brush your teeth. You can pick up the Hoover-Trimmer (this is the future, people!) at Boots here for £49.99. It should be £74.99, so, quids in. More info on the Philips website.

mens christmas gift guide

And then the Philips Shaver Series 7000: not your ordinary shaver, it has to be said. Specially designed to reduce skin irritation, it can be used daily by men with even the most sensitive skin. No more red rashes. The DynamicFlex heads flex in five different directions so that you get a close shave around every angle of the face (please design one of these for the bikini line, Philips!) and the Gentle Precision blade system gently guides the hairs close to the blades for a more comfortable shave. Bravo. For more technical info, head to the Philips website – RRP for the Series 7000 is £250, but it’s currently £106.72 on Amazon! Run don’t walk, etc…

christmas gift guide men

Back to beards and the pricey option for oiling them up: the Neroli Portofino beard oil from Tom Ford. Sexy smell, suave packaging – almost worth growing some facial hair for! It’s £40 here.

christmas mens gift guide

If it’s got to be scarf then make it cashmere: H&M have a lovely one that won’t break the bank but feels suitably luxurious. 100% cashmere, six different colours and a ribbed knit that looks modern and smart. £39.99 here.

mens christmas gift guide

Darth Vader bath foam. Just because. There’s also a Yoda, an R2D2, a Chewbacca and – er – Captain America, depending on where his fancies lie. Note, though, that Darth has a cute little plastic cape at the back. Deciding factor right there. The bubble baths are £4.50 each from M&S.

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Chanel No.5 Eau Premiere

Chanel No5 Eau Premiere

Rebottling an iconic fragrance isn’t exactly huge news, but there’s some activity going on around the new glass bottle inspired by the Place Vendome in Paris, that is something quite exciting. If you’re in and around London at Chanel in Covent Garden or at Bluewater, Birmingham Bullring or Westfield London, then you might spot an enticing installation.

Chanel No5 Eau Premiere

I popped along to a Chanel tea-party in Covent Garden, and to enter the store you go through a Chanel No.5 Eau Premiere shaped gateway that gives you a little waft of the scent as you pass through. These bottle shaped installations, called The Mystery Bottle, are at all the above mentioned locations and well worth a little walk-through just for the experience. Like The Fragrance Lab in Selfridges, it’s another sign that fragrance is becoming as much about the experience as the perfume.

It’s wrong, isn’t it, that I love the little ceramic blotter above more than the actual perfume? It’s going straight in my Chanel collections box as soon as I can stop looking at it! The Mystery Bottles are around until 5th May.

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