Friday, 7 June 2019


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Identity Hair Wheatley

I can still remember an exchange that I overheard in a small shop in a nondescript market town when I was thirteen.  First sales assistant 'She's quite' pretty', second sales assistant 'Not really, but I suppose she has nice hair'.
Within a year I had hit puberty and for some reason my hair, long, wavy sun-kissed blonde, shed until it was thin mousey and half the length.  After teen years of competitive swimming and a lot of sport, it was even worse, a bit of fluff with no body or shine that would not grow to more than about 4 inches before breaking off.  I spent my 20s trying to find the magic cure, visiting Chinese herbalists, Philip Kingsley ( the man himself), spending a fortune on all of the best hairdressers in London from Josh Wood to Sam McKnight and Nicky Clarke.  Nothing worked so I just pulled it up into a messy top-knot and tried to forget about it.
In my thirties hair extensions were no longer the Barbie style acrylic lumps preferred by Page 3 girls and porn stars, and I spent thousands on a decade of  'pretend' hair.  Recently the time, effort and money all seems a bit wasteful and decided to go back to my roots.
Both in my hair regime and where I am living.
I am still mousey brown, with blonde ends, and I have the added bonus of white/grey that grows visibly around my face after about 3 weeks of having a root touch up.  Despairing of ever owning a 'crowning glory' I set out to find a cheap and cheerful local salon who could do my roots at minimal expense.
Wheatley is a tiny Cotswold stone town just outside of Oxford, since it does not have controlled parking, and only a handful of shops, it feels more like a village.

The reviews for the established hairdressing salon were very positive online, so I decided to give it a go.  As I was parking I saw a tiny jewel box of a salon with only two chairs and the clean modern country feel that is reminiscent of Daylesford, Brissi and Farrow and Ball.  This definitely wasn't my original destination, but I went in to find out more.  The salon had just been set up by a young duo who had both trained with Aveda.  The good reviews of the other salon that I had read online were actually about one of the partners of Identity, so it looked like I had struck gold with this little treasure.
Hannah undertook my appointment, and was so warm and friendly that I told her all about my hair saga, almost from the very beginning.  She told me to start eating a protein rich breakfast, as hair is protein and as a non-essential body part, is the last to benefit from protein intake.  I do a lot of sport which compounds the problem and as a semi vegetarian, I am aware that I don't eat enough protein so it all made perfect sense.  She also told me to try Viviscal, a new shellfish based supplement that she has seen work wonders for some of her clients.  Finally we discussed the best regime for my fine lifeless hair.  Since I need to colour every four weeks, she suggested a monthly semi-permanent tint for the roots, with sporadic foil highlights (every four months or so) so that they colour does not become too much of a 'block'.  The semi-permanent colour lasts the whole month, but is less aggressive than a permanent hair dye and a few highlights make any grey growth less visible, but are not as damaging as regular foils.
Hannah and Katie are both so positive and full of energy, they regularly work on fashion shows and photoshoots and of course are running their own business.  It is rare to meet people who genuinely love what they do.  Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious and I left their salon determined to do all that had been suggested.

Three months down the line and my hair is the best it has ever been.  It has grown! It is all one length rather than the raggedy and I have thickness around my face that feels (almost) heavy.

If you would like to try Indentity for yourself, Luxelocal is offering its members a £50 voucher for only £30.

Luxe Local

Luxe Local was created to support local independent businesses. The internet allows big global companies direct access to all of their customers which means the little shops and boutiques that give colour to our high streets are disappearing fast.

At Luxe Local we seek out the best of everything in London and the Cotswolds, write honest reviews and offer Luxe Local members discounted offers.

Some of the hotels and restaurants that we will be featuring are known nationally, even internationally, they do not have a shortage of customers, but they are looking for customers who add a buzz to their ambiance. They are prepared to offer anyone who is happy to follow their dress code, the same fantastic experience, at a very appealing rate.

If you invest in yourself and your wardrobe and enjoy the finer things in life and would like to be considered for membership email

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Boozy weekend

This weekend has been spent in a drunken haze. Friday night was 'big birthday' of a friend who goes a long way back.  The house was beautiful, one of the couple is an interior designer and she does that effortless chic  that would seem so contrived if I attempted it.
This is the house from an interiors shoot

  I wore my black Day Mikkelsen dress, but I felt all the elegance of a cement mixer with this erudite, beautiful crowd.
On Saturday night we went to a fund raising ball at Henly Regatta, it actually stopped raining for an hour and the sun came out which is nothing short of a miracle.
The marquee was beautiful and the crowd great fun, it was like a real life episode of Midsommer Murders.

I wore a Valentino dress (from TK Maxx)think it could be a wedding dress, but I have written about my addiction to buying inappropriate outfits, here at least was a chance to wear one.

Thursday, 12 July 2012


In the big things in life, I am pretty loyal, one of the those people that sticks to what they know and once some thing is good, couldn't see the point of changing it. I'm still completely hooked on my significant other, still live in the same flat since we were married, drive all our cars until they die, holiday in the same place Summer and Winter, worked in the same job for over a decade.
And yet it stops there, for every day things I really couldn't care which cornflakes I eat,  what mayonnaise accompanies my salad or which washing powder my clothes smell of, truth be told I positively enjoy change and trying the new and the different. Perhaps it is precisely because I am so constant elsewhere that I don't look for regularity in the mundane.
I was thinking about brands and loyalty at the weekend, we were rushing to get to a big party a few hours away from home and everything had to be done quickly and efficiently, it was only the fun stuff like clothes and make-up that was required, but I was interested in how my inner dilettante reached for particular individual brands to which I thought she was immune.
It went something like;
bath products: don't care, will use whatever the hotel has on offer
shampoo: ditto
Body moisturiser: any emollient is fine by me even sunflower oil does the trick if necessary, but when unsure of possible improvisation opportunities it has to be Neom Unwind Body Oil, it is really refreshing and I find it very uplifting before a long night out.

Fake tan: complete convert to one which is still to launch and I have been sampling for a friend, this is my only 'must', but still can't reveal the name as I don't think it is finalised. The product is nothing short of miraculous, a totally natural two week holiday tan that evens skin tone, hides wrinkles and wears off like a real tan.
Lipstick; As long as it is nude don't care which brand, prefer a rich one but always have lip gloss to shine up anything a little lack lustre again vaseline will do
Mascara; recently these have been coming free on the front of magazines and I am quite happy with all of them although if pushed I quite like the Bourjois white and black one where you extend first and then cover with black
Foundation; don't really bother because of fab fake tan, but do like a dusting of Bare Minerals, when it's a big night out, I know there is no chance of removing make up at night and leaving vitamin C powder on my skin would seem positively virtuous.

I am a rubbish blogger and forgot to take any pictures of the Bedouin tented village that was created in the grounds of this place...
I think I just got carried away with how magical the evening was.
It was a great excuse to dress up (in my nearly Versace and Jimmy Choos), snog under the stars and drink too much, like being 18 again...

Monday, 9 July 2012

Croissant shopping in St Trop

August in St Tropez is a bit of a nightmare after 9am, there is no where to park and the whole town turns into one traffic jam. There is a genuine reason that people use boats to get around the coast.
We venture into town a couple of times a week, very early to buy croissants and basic supplies and check out the huge gin palaces moored in the harbour. I need a couple of more conservative outfits for the early morning, I don't want to be mistaken for doing the walk of shame in anything that smacks of sequins or Herve Leger.
The white dress is from M & S and the silk one from Jigsaw, it reminds me of a French teacher c. 1980, and for that reason I find it charming, even though it doesn't really suit my body shape at all.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Holiday makeovers

Not sure what possessed me when I bought these Plein Sud jeans, I think I may have thought they are French and must be chic. They are truly awful, I cut them into shorts, but I think that they are destined only for wear in the garden.
The silk dress is from Tesco, the silk is nice and I liked the colour, but the length is that really bad Aunt Sally length that is not good for my body shape. As I am rubbish with a needle and thread, the makeover has to involve only a belt and some tucking in, and wearing it back to front.