In the shape of these two fashion-forward genetic jackpots, Lady Margherita Missoni and Dame Karlie Kloss.
Both have had long, lovely hair, the kind that often features in the iPhone gallery of women like you and I when we head to the salon for a cut, or style, or great colour and need a good reference, for a great many years (that is how one achieves long hair, after all), and both have recently cut said hair to perch elegantly, mischievously above their shoulders, but below their chins.
A terribly chic length, of course. Wonderfully versatile and fantastically sexy in that insouciant, confident way.
Here is Miss Kloss, doing nothing to stop the perception that women sassing 'librarian' frames are deeply sexy, in a coy and dewey system kind of way.
And lady Missoni, heir to vibrant zigzags and jubilant florals…
Please note how in both cases, high-necked skivvies and collars make no challenge to the hair at all, in fact, this length allows such necklines to shine. Long hair on the other case, it wants to compete with everything, and looks far better put up, back and away when the neckline is high.
I personally love this length, and interestingly, find when my hair is shorter, my hemlines quickly also rise. It's as though with short hair, you've lessened one of your focal points (long hair), so you're allowed to create a new one (legs). Also, it tends to look less…. full on, than short skirt, long hair for some reason. No scientist has ever accurately confirmed why.
But why would they? They've got Mentos' to be dropping in Coke and other important stuff to do.
As the proud/often annoyed owner of very curly fine hair that loves to frizz more than is considered the legal limit in three states, I am often asked, (in an unsually aggressive manner, to be honest): 'Fosters! How do you get your curls to behave and stuff?"
So, as I was doing my hair for a 75th at a Russian restaurant in Elsternwick on the weekend (DON'T JUDGE until you've been there and had 34 shots of straight vodka and the night of your g-dang life) I thought I would do a wee photo diary on how I styled my curls. And the rules of it. And explain how much quicker and easier it is than blow-drying. (Plus it was raining so why even entertain the idea of smooth, obedient hair? Roll with the wild, Brazilian '80s look, toots.)
And look, I don't want to start a passionate debate about curls V straight hair here, but I do always seem to get more hairpliments (hair compliments) when my hair is like this, so maybe, if you have curly hair, it's time to let it dance once more?
Here's how I do mine, in case you'd like to give it a go.
ONE: DO NOT RUB WET HAIR WITH YOUR TOWEL AFTER WASHING IT.
Scrunch it gently with your towel to keep the shape of the curls intact, and not cause frizz/boof. Also, use something lovely and nourishing to wash it with so that it's already nice and hydrated and behavey. Please note the absence of a comb or brush at this, and any point.
TWO: APPLY A DOLLOP OF LEAVE-IN CONDITIONING BALM/ANTI-FRIZZ CREME/CURL BALM ALL OVER, EXCEPT THE ROOTS.
I used Pantene All-Day Smooth, (I also like ghd Obedience Cream) which is lovely and nourishing but marvelously lightweight. Also: CHEAP. Small pea amount on my fingers rubbed together, and then scrunched and rubbed all over the hair, except for the roots, because any product that close to the old oil-producer ("scalp") can lead to a lank, greasy look.
THREE: USING YOUR HAIR DRYER WITHOUT THE NOZZLE (OR EVEN BETTER, A DIFFUSER) DRY YOUR HAIR OFF.
Gently, on a low air and moderate heat, dry your curls. Do a lot of scrunching and coiling and twirling as you go to shape the curls. Be sure to flip your head upside its head (Snap lyric reference for those born in the '80s) a lot, and get the heat in there at the roots so as to create volume. Do this for at least five minutes, until the hair is at least 85-90% dry.
FOUR: YOU WILL NOTE IT IS A BIT BOOFY BUT THE DRY-OFF HAS DEFINITELY HELPED. DON'T SOOK. GO DO YOUR MAKEUP.
The curls are forming! They have been coated in something to stop the frizz, and heat dried to create shape, bounce and volume. Give them 10-15 minutes to understand all of this and do your mug/get dressed/eat some corn chips.
FIVE: HAIR WILL BE LOOKING A BIT BIGGER AND BETTER, CURLS ARE SETTLING IN NICE. BUT SOME OF THE ENDS ARE LOOKING SHIT AND LIMP AND FLYAWAY.
Usually, it will be on the ends, which if they are in bad shape because your hair used to be bleach blonde ("me") or you need a hair cut, will be a bit… uninspired. You don't need to stand for this. You don't need to stand for this!
SIX: TONG THEM! DO TIGHT, LOTS-OF-TENSION CURLS WITH A SMALL BARREL TONG WHERE YOUR HAIR NEEDS A BIG MORE BOUNCE AND CURL.
There is no need to go nuts, or even pumpkin seeds. Just do a few minutes worth of tonging here and there, (take the hair back off and away from your face; always position the tong cord in the air) which will help and encourage the rest of your curls to take shape around them. Don't shake them out yet, by the way. Let them cool as crazy tight ringlets, you can finger tousle them out in about 10 minutes, when you're out on the street cursing every motherdingin' taxi that won't stop. Also: Try not to burn yourself while taking photos for your blog.
SEVEN: DONE! (UH, EXCEPT FOR THE SHAKING IT OUT IN THE CAR WHEN THE CURLS ARE STONE COLD/HAVE SET.)
Well. Look at you. Thanks to a bit of clever drying and a few minutes tonging, your curls are looking good, it all blends in nicely, and you're just a babe with big, glorious, Aerobics instructor curls. I don't even finish with hair spray anymore, because it makes the curls too sticky and obvious, and I prefer a lived-in, soft curl. Also, the less product I use, the more days I can get out of my hair. (I'm on day four already, and after a touch of dry shampoo this morning, and am feeling pretty smug.)
Add large hoops and hot pink rollerskates at whim.
NB: I know this is a controversial area of hair styling, because every dame's curls behave in their own special ("frustrating") way, and I concede this might not work for you, but try it. Can't hurt, ay.
I certainly know, after three weeks of insane amounts of high heel wearing and all-day standing, because the back of my left heel hurt like no-one's business, except for mine and eventually, today my chiropractor (well, 'a chiropractor' – it's the first time I've ever met seen him, and to be fair, I don't actually own him).
It was swollen, and sore, and made wearing anything that covered that area unfun/extremely painful/void. I figured it was from one of my shoes messing it up, or a chipped bone, and ignored it ike any normal ignoramus, until on the weekend when the pain really unleashed, and I self-diagnosed on Google that it was achilles tendonitis and I would probably never walk again.
Cut to the chiro, who informed me very quickly that I was a deformed haggler.
I spat on him and left immediately, obviously. Just because I have bumps on the back of my heel does not mean I am a deformed haggler. I mean, I don't even have any warts on my nose anymore, and hardly ever wear my rags these days.
Hilarity aside, it's actually called 'Haglund's Deformity' but I still lovingly call it Haggler's Deformity because I am five and it's funnier. It's also referred to as pump bump, because women who wear high-heeled 'pumps' often get this problem. Also, as a manic treadmill runner I was in big trouble. Apparentely running on treadmills is The Worst Thing Ever for you.Who knew?! Switch to the elliptical or jazzercise instead.
Sadly, this heel bump biz is not nearly as ignorable and cute as bunions, because if you don't sort these heel bumps out, you are at risk of bursitis and even achillies tendonitis, which you do NOT want, because you won't be able to walk, let alone walk in heels, and you will become very shitty about life for a time.
So today he pushed and massaged the shit out of my heel and foot and calf, and it hurt, and then he told me to do calf raises three times a day, and ice it, and THEN told me not to sleep the way I do, because I sleep on my side like a cute unborn baby, and my foot is in a position that mimics wearing heels, which is cleary no go. I told him to stop peering through my windows as I slept, and we're even.
He also put some cool tape on my foot which made it look like it was nuclear waste. Kind of like the adult version of a Simpsons bandaid, I guess.
So, my advice is: if you have pain and lumps on the back of you heels, get that shit checked out. I know this is not much of a beauty post, more of an ugly post, but that's how I roll. (My ankle.)
But also say you have no time for a thorough exfoliation and quick 10 minzo mask, which would make a walloping great difference, if I was to be honest about all of this.
So. Here's what I do: I mix in some lovely face oil with my foundation, and after mixing the two squirts of goo between my fingers nicely so they are relatively fond of each other, I apply it to my face using those very same fingers. I then take a foundation brush and paint on a touch more foundation where needed, which is amost definitely not around the crinkles/smile lines under the outer corner of my eyes, cause that's where all my dryness and thirstyness hang out playing Uno, so it's far better to keep the lush, dewy sheen caused by the addition of oil there instead.
Oily skinned dames may not want to do this trick for obvious reasons, (TOO! MUCH! SHEEEEEEEN!) but they still might want to mix in some moisturiser, primer or skin perfector/luminiser in with their foundation for some added glow, mightn't they.
And by everyone, of course, I mean "some famous people" which are the only people I care about on this blog, because frankly, non-famous people ought to be ashamed of themselves and start being more famousy. I would like to see a world where there is one Kim Kardashian per post code at least.
Back to hair!
This hair, specifically, which we saw on Ms Heidi Klum last week at the VMAs…
And then today on Ms Scarlett Johanso, Johansse, Johansson, at the premiere of Hitchcock.
And of course, Lady Rihanna, although hers, unlike the birds above, is created via undercut and weave, rather than blow-drying the hair, then popping in some clever little braids or plaits from the one side of the head, winding two-thirds around the back of the head where some tricky bobby-pinning tucks their ends under the long, blow-dried other half of hair, and is bound to be around for about 11 more seconds before she tires of it and tries something new. Quick! Enjoy while you can.
Me? I like sidesies.
Have always liked one-sided hair looks, from vintage deep-parts with finger waves to the gritty, pretty Alexander Wang low plait that was huge a few years back. I will be giving it a go myself sometime real soon.
Sure, it's a bit sassy '80s, but so are the Pointer Sisters and there's nothing wrong with them.
Like a small bird with a grumbling stomach, peering cautiously over the edge of his nest, after having just realised his mother will no longer be vomiting food into his mouth and that he will have to go out and find his own witchety grubs from now on, we are very, very close to launching.
Especially when you REALLY don’t need it to misbehave and start being dry and spotty and just generally quite shit.
It’s the crap food you eat when you work back. It’s the rubbish cold, dry weather and the heaters. It’s the water you forget to drink. The gym you don’t go to. The flying, the wine at dinner to relax from the big days and the scorching hot showers you take to relax.
So, you know what I do when all of this happens and my skin is all like, "Oh, poor me, I’m all reactionary to stress, ooh, I’m so upset and dismayed at the way you’re treating my body, oooh, why don’t I just go and cry about it like the big epidermal baby I am, waaaaaaaaah," and I’m all like, "Whatever, skin, I’m gonna get me some beer battered chips."
Usually, I’d recommend a quick DIY peel (very much enjoying La Prairie’s new 3 minute peel, after all, who has 4 minutes?) and a little hydrating mask (Alpha-H does a cracker called the 15% Glycolic mask. If you haven’t heard of Alpha-H, I suggest you trot over to their site and sniff around. They are very very underrated, and very very good. Strayan, too. I love their Liquid Gold lotion, the aforementioned mask and their Micro Cleanse scrub. KaPOW! Spots gone, skin clear and all hydrated. Take five, Alpha-H. Your work here is done.)
But today I’ll recommend a holiday to the Seychelles.
I can recommended an amazing travel agent, if you need one. Here he is, all ready to book your flights for you.
ELES sheer mineral tint, a tinted moisturiser slash illuminator, which is giving my face the most delicious glow, and being mineral is of course non-irritating (which was IDEAL after being given a nasty, acne-esque rash from one of the 456 products I tried last week at some point: rash covered, no further skin irritation). I wear it alone on weekends, but through the week when I need to look all professional like, I combine this with…
ELES Liquid mineral foundation which is excellent because I love the finish and sunscreeness of mineral makeup, but have the accuracy and carefulness of a drunk wearing a blindfold on rollerskates when it comes to applying powder anything. So, with this, I get the benefits of mineral makeup, sans mess. It’s sets as a powder, (although I wouldn’t call it a matte finish, just nice and flawlessy) which is why I blend with the Sheer Tint, so that I get the dewy finish I’ve been loving since 1963. And! ELES is an all ‘Strayan brand! Stone the flamin’ galahs!
Estee Lauder Sumptuous mascara, which kindly gives me glamorously thick, overweight lashes every day, in just a few simple strokes. But they’re still light, if that makes sense. No matter how much you put on: no clumpy. Lauder have delivered some cracking mascaras over the past few years, (special nods and knowing winks to Projectionist and Illusionist) and each of them have been marvelous in their own way (curling, separating, lengthening, dancing), but who am I kidding: I’m a volume whore. Always will be. I love volume like Meowbert loves Toobs.
Decleor Aromatic Essential Balm, also known as The Thing That Keeps My Skin Glowy despite heaters and air conditioners and performing massive aerials at Thredbo on the weekends. If you like La Mer, or Ella Bache Creme Intex (it’s like I’m addressing myself here), you’ll be so down with this, you’ll probably need to dig a hole for how far down you are.
To those asking about Primped, not long now, fruits. Not long at all. We’re working our asses off (saves going to the gym/spending on cellulite creams) to get it PERFECT before we launch and elegantly and aggressively create an entirely new way to enjoy/drool over/learn about beauty.
So, I just learned a wonderfully simple and effective and easy-to-pass-off-as-your-own-tip application technique for creme blush from a wonderful M.A.C makeup artist, Lisa.
It’s to apply in the shape of the Nike symbol. If you have just returned from Saturn, (how amazing is the coffee there?!) this is the symbol she is referring to:
You start the symbol on the apple (fleshy part of your cheek) and then take it down, and then up and under the cheekbone, right back to the top of your ear. Repeat on the other side of face. Blend any edges with a clean foundation brush or clean, blush-free fingers.
This part: "under the cheekbone" is crucial, because if you apply your blush above your cheekbone, you drag your whole face down, and that ages you, and unless you are 13 or attempting entry into a licensed residence as when you are yet to blow out 18 candles jovially placed on an iced cake, you don’t want to look any older than you actually are.
Simple. Clever. Looks Very Good. Try it.
Ps Many kind thanks to all of the fun, gorgeous, excitey fruits who came and got a book signed at my Myer/M.A.C makeup parties yesterday and today. You guys made me feel very special. Especially since I had texta marks (yesterday) and chai latte spill (today) screaming at you from my dress and you were all kind enough to pretend not to notice.