Monday, 29 February 2016

How to style your hair sleek and smooth

There is an array of products out there that promise sleek, smooth hair and aim to banish frizz. Some work better than others. But, the secret to getting your hair to looked polished and chic is in the way you blow-dry.

When the hair cuticles lie flat moisture, which causes the hair to frizz, is repelled. The level surface reflects more light so hair appears shinier. 

Hairdressers make working with a round brush look so easy. When you are styling your own locks trying to hold a hairdryer in one hand and a brush in the other can be difficult.

I found a really good trick to create tension, without using a brush, is to take each section of the hair and pull it taut with your hand. Hold it at the bottom then point the nozzle of the dryer downwards. Then repeat until all your hair is almost dry. 

My favourite ghd Oval Dressing Brush

Hold the dryer at least six inches away from the hair and take care to not to hold the dryer in one spot for too long. When the dryer gets hot, switch to a lower heat setting. My hair comes out looking shiny and glossy without any fluffiness in sight. 

In the areas I want extra body, I first lift the hair on the root area with my favourite ghd Oval Dressing Brush (£20, in the opposite direction I want it to fall. 

To finish off, I take my ghd brush again and slightly bend the ends under. I like the fact that it has a non-slip handle and is made from bristle which is a natural fibre so will not create static which plastic tends to do and, I find, it grips the hair better. It also helps to distribute the hair’s own oils so it is good for grooming.

Not only does my mane look better using this drying method, it also saves me time.

By Daralyn Danns

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Castle Hotel Windsor – Mgallery by Sofitel

The sound of the marching band flooded the high street as I watched, from my hotel, the guards make their way to the nearby Windsor Castle for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. 

I may not have been invited by the Queen to stay at the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world but I certainly was treated like royalty during my stay at the Castle Hotel Windsor – Mgallery by Sofitel.

The Castle Hotel  Windsor

The Castle Hotel Windsor recently has undergone a facelift and is now a sophisticated melange of British tradition with an injection of French chic. So befitting for one of the most stunning Georgian buildings in Windsor that is just a stone’s throw from Sir Christopher Wren’s Windsor Guildhall.

This boutique hotel has come a long way since it began life in 1528 as the Mermaid Inn. After a Royal Warrant was granted in the mid-1700s turning it into an official posting inn, The Castle Inn, as it was now called, opened a new chapter in its life. The reputation that it earned as one of the finest in the area is as true today as it was then.

Paying homage to its past and infused with contemporary flair, the hotel is luxurious yet also envelopes you in a homely warmth.

The sound of the marching band flooded the high street

There are 108 bedrooms, five of which are executive suites in the three sections of the hotel, main house, mews and the newer wing. The rooms have been elegantly decorated in a neutral palette of French grey and mushroom spiced up with splashes of colour. References to its past and the people that helped to weave the Castle’s story are cleverly integrated into the design so that you can appreciate its centuries-old history. The Duke of Wellington reputedly dined here after his victory at the Battle of Waterloo.

I had an executive room in the newer wing which was spacious and decked out in calming shades with all the modern amenities you need including a large flat-screen TV and a good hairdryer. The free Wi-Fi worked perfectly. There were also some delicious macaroons to nibble on while I was settling in. 

The bathroom was huge and had a superb rain shower as well as a tub which was much appreciated on a cold winter’s evening. Lavin toiletries were arrayed on the shelf.  

The lobby

My heart dropped when I saw that I was looking out over the car park but I need not have worried as I did not hear a thing. My bed was comfy and I slept like a log.

I was there for the opening party and if the spread that they put on is anything to go by dining here should be a real treat. The menu is English classic served with a dollop of 21st-century flavour.

Whether you want afternoon tea or a drink in the bar, you will find all the lounges inviting and cosy. Breakfast is a tempting buffet of fruit, yoghurt, cereals, smoked salmon and breads. If you lust after the full English, order from the à la carte menu.

What makes this hotel stand out from the crowd is the excellent service. It is just the place to go to recharge the batteries.

By Daralyn Danns

Rates start at £108 per room per night. For further information visit