Wednesday, 26 February 2014

T3 SinglePass Straightening & Styling Iron

Poker straight hair is back on-trend, so it could be time to treat yourself to a pair of straighteners. Although, I would never advocate using them every day, they are great for the occasional use. Be sure to always use a heat protective spray before you start styling.

They are so many irons out there but, in my books, the T3 SinglePass Straightening & Styling Iron (£125, Selfridges) stands out from the crowd. It has tourmaline-infused ceramic plates which help lock moisture into the hair, eliminate frizz and static electricity. The bevelled plated edges don’t snag the hair. 

The T3 SinglePass Straightening & Styling Iron is incredibly light. It heats up quickly and retains a constant temperature and so heat is dispersed evenly into the hair. The power button and adjustable thermostat are on the inside of the irons, so you have to be careful when using them. For areas where hair is finer such as around the face and fringe you should use a lower heat setting so you don’t fry your hair. Another great plus is that it comes with a heat resistant mat. 

One pass should be sufficient to straighten your hair. Putting it through several times is really not good for your tresses. Read the instructions carefully before you start using them. If you don’t use them correctly, your beloved straightners could turn into your hair’s worst enemy by ravaging it.

While some other expensive leading brands on the market, have left my hair looking flat and lifeless, the T3 SinglePass Straightening & Styling Iron didn’t strip it of all its body. In fact, it looked really natural and soft after using it. After several uses it hasn’t frazzled my locks.

I like the fact that you can achieve curly and wavy looks as well. It is also ideal for flipping the hair, which is also a great look as it is softer than dead straight hair. It also comes with a two-year guarantee, so be sure to complete your warranty registration.

For tress-perfecting, T3 SinglePass Straightening & Styling Iron is hard to beat.

By Daralyn Danns

Friday, 21 February 2014

Finding the perfect bra

The right bra can not only make you look better, it can also make you feel sexier and more feminine as I found out on a recent visit to Marks & Spencer, Marble Arch, London.

Being small (30 back and a C cup), I find it hard to get bras to fit as the choice is so limited. More often than not I have one option and that may not be perfect. As women are tending to get bigger, it has become a mammoth task to find a pretty bra that works.

I explained my dilemma to Julia Mercer, technical manager and Marks & Spencer’s bra guru who stared at me in disbelief when I told her that I had even had to resort to the teenage bra ranges. “You should not be wearing those as the straps will not offer you enough support!” she retorted.

She told me that I have an inverted sternum and narrow shoulders plus a cleavage that kisses. “A plunge is the perfect shape for you,” she explained. “It supports the bust from the side, pushing it inwards creating a cleavage effect. 

The Sumptuously Soft Plunge T-shirt Bra

Apparently, most bras can be divided into two main styles: plunge or balcony. The latter has wider cup straps and suits those with pigeon chests – that is more up the top. They lift from the bottom of the cup giving you an uplifted effect. Full cups suit all women.

Julia put me in a new M&S creation, the Sumptuously Soft Plunge T-shirt Bra (£18, which comes in black, white and fawn). I couldn’t believe the difference. I had a good bust, which made if feel more womanly and even though the bras had an underwire, it was incredibly comfortable.

The Sumptuously Soft Full-Cup T-shirt Bra

The straps were perfectly secure and not too tight. The under band was sitting comfortably against the middle of my back and not riding up – If it does your bra is not right for you – and the wires were not digging into any breast tissue. The centre front of the bra was also sitting flat against the chest which it should do. It also fitted perfectly on the first hook so that as it stretches you can adjust it. The bust was also contained fully within the cup – another mark of a good fitting bra.

It is recommended to have a bra fitting approximately every six months as you can change shape.

Julia believes women should have a wardrobe of bras that are suitable for day, evening and sports as well as a strapless one. If you want to buy a bra that goes with a special outfit, she recommends taking it with you.

As for me, well a wardrobe of bras seems a long way off. I’m just thrilled to find one that fits perfectly and to discover that M&S are catering for petite women and are introducing more 30 backs into its ranges. 

However, when I told Julia I had never had a strapless bra, she thinks it won’t be long before that situation is rectified. You can always rely on good old M&S to be inventing something new. 

By Daralyn Danns

For more information on bra fittings at M&S visit


Monday, 17 February 2014

Brunettes and greys

Louise Galvin is one of the UK’s leading colourists and daughter of the legendary Daniel Galvin at whose London salon she is based. I asked her why brunettes have difficulty when covering grey?

Brunettes find it much harder to cope with those first grey hairs. “Vegetable colours can end up grabbing the ends, highlights can go too brassy. What do you advise?

“I always carefully paint out those first few greys with a little colour for as long as possible. Less is more in this instance but too many colourists will insist on a full colour at the first sign of grey – too much and not necessary.”

What are the general guidelines in choosing colours when you have 50 per cent grey or more?

“I often do highlights and then paint colour between the lights to cover grey, using the lighter grey tone as your lightest ‘light’ to add contrast and allowing the grey to shine through as a natural tonal light.  Colour glosses really help at this stage of the greying process to blend and soften grey with a translucent colour.”

A bad hair colour can age you. For example, if you go too dark, it can emphasis lines and wrinkles. While going too light can drain you. How can you hold back the years?  

“Condition! Condition! Condition! Hair that is well conditioned and glossy is always more youthful. Try my Sacred Locks Intensive Treatment Masque (£26, once or twice a week. This really infuses the hair with moisture and nourishment. Improving the health of the scalp as well as nourishing hair and taming frizz, the silicone free formulation is created to deeply condition the hair without weighing it down. When colouring, we keep the hairline a shade lighter than the rest of the hair to ‘light’ the eyes and create a pretty soft halo effect.”  

Highlights or a single process? 

“Everyone’s hair is unique, I personally prefer to highlight hair for as long as possible. However as the hair becomes greyer (75 per cent or more) a single process is usually required to truly cover grey. But I still like to add some lights throughout to add movement.”  

What are the pitfalls of colouring dark hair at home?

Choosing the wrong colour. So many people think they are a light brown but are in fact a dark blonde. There is a big difference and we have so many people contacting us about our Louise Galvin Hair Colour Remove (£14.95, to help remove a too dark colour without damaging the hair.

“Also, many home colours are sold as semi-permanent when in fact they are permanent colours. Remember: if you have to mix two bottles together, this is a PERMANENT colour and will need to grow out rather than wash out or fade over time.”

If you do want to do it yourself, how do you choose the right shade from the rows of shelves in the supermarket/chemist?

“I would always recommend going to a salon for a professional consultation – most good salons offer a free colour consultation. Really listen to the colours they are suggesting and ask lots of questions.” 

What about touching up roots yourself in between salon visits? 

I haven’t yet found anything that is widely available that I think is great. But, if you find something that works for you, this is fine. Old traditional Roux sticks (£7), available from pharmacy shops such as John Bell & Croyden ( can be good. A great tip for ‘emergency cover’ is Batiste Dry Shampoo for Brunettes, Blondes etc (£3.99, Boots). These will help until you can get to your colourist.”

There are always stories in the press about the risk of using hair dye, especially if you are a brunette. Please comment.

“Unfortunately, hair colour is a chemical so it is important to always do a patch test, particularly if you have sensitive skin.”

How do you keep dyed hair healthy?

“Use gentle products that don’t strip colour. My own range of products, Louise Galvin Sacred Locks and Natural Locks ( are all formulated to protect colour and are free from SLS, parabens and silicone so they will not strip colour. And referring back to my Condition! Condition! Condition! mantra, if hair is nourished colour will be locked in more effectively.  I recommend to all my clients to use a treatment on their hair at least once a week.  My formulations are so natural the masque can be left on overnight, adding moisture and shine without weighing the hair down.”

Good and bad examples of brunettes? 

I think both Kate Middleton and Samantha Cameron are the perfect brunettes – their hair always looks glossy and vibrant.

“Meryl Streep in August : Osage County – the colour is so solid and draining, perfect for her character. There is no movement or tonal quality to the hair which is incredibly ageing and not glamorous.  

 “Cate Blanchett can also look very ‘washed out’ when playing characters with brunette hair as she has such alabaster skin.”

By Daralyn Danns