Salon Selective

Salon Selective

No one can deny the genius (and quite frankly life-changing) phenomenon of the Permanent Blow-Dry. It's the straightening hair treatment that removes frizz from your locks and keeps it silky, shiny and soft for up to three months. It's a godsend to brides and most good salons nationwide offer the service.
The only downside is that it's only available in one strength. The effect it has on uber-curly wiry hair is quite incredible, but on slightly halo-prone okayish / thickish hair it can leave it looking thin, flat and lifeless. So imagine our delight when Equus salon in London's Knightsbridge announced a new collection of straightening treatments with varying strengths to suit your hair type. Hooray!
It's called the Brocato Curl Interrupted Smoothing System and comes in three options:

• Brocato Demi - delivering results that last for 12 weeks (from £195)
• Brocato Semi - perfectly smoothes hair for up to 3 weeks (from £120)
• Brocato Temporary - ideal for a special occasion, lasting for up to 3 days (from £35)

Brilliant. Our advice is to pop in about six months before your wedding to have a consultation and try out one of the treatments, see how you like it, then re-book before your wedding. The stylists at Equus are genuinely lovely and talented, and the salon itself is relaxed and welcoming. And did we mention Harrods is just across the road?

To book, contact Equus Hair (176 Brompton Road, London SW3 1HQ) on 020 7584 0105 or visit

Helping Hands

Helping Hands

I do think it's worth making extra effort with your hands and nails a few weeks before your wedding. Quite frankly nothing looks worse than red, raw and inflamed skin around the nails from an over-excited manicurist, so really you want to give her as little as possible to wreck on the wedding day. To do this, follow these excellent tips from Jessica Vartoughian, the lady behind the legendary Jessica nail brand (and personal manicurist to Demi Moore - wow!). In two weeks you'll see a huge improvement - I certainly have...

• Protect your nails with a base coat to suit your nail type. You can find this out by visit a Jessica salon where a manicurist will analyse your nails and prescribe the best treatment. If you don't have time, Critical Care (pictured) is a fantastic all-rounder as it strengthens weak nails while boosting growth.

• Regularly paint your nails and add top coat. This will make you subconsciously look after your hands and prevent you picking and peeling your nails.

• Massage hand cream into your cuticles throughout the day (at your desk, in the car, on the train...). This will stop skin growing up onto the nail and prevent dry cuticles from tearing and wounding the skin.

• Spend a couple of minutes every night massaging a drop of Phenomen Oil into each cuticle and pushing them back with a cotton bud. Not only will this keep them soft and tidy, but you'll be stimulating nail growth and encouraging healthy nails.

• Exfoliate once a week with a scrub such as LeRemedi HandSilk Exfoliare to reveal soft, smooth skin.

Critical Care Base Coat for soft nails, £17.95
Phenomen Oil, £8.95
LeRemedti HandSilk Exfoliare, £13.95

To find your nearest stockist, call Gerrard International on 0845 217 1360

Golden Girl

Golden Girl

The UK's leading self-tanning expert James Read tells Brides what tan he thinks Kate Middleton will go for on her wedding day:

"If we go back to the engagement photos and interview, you can see that Kate's had a light spray tan to create a really healthy glow. That's the kind of look I predict she'll go for on the wedding day. It's what I call a "Complexion Tan".
"It's all about using product to enhance your skin, not coating it with a layer of tropical colour. It's a very lightly-sprayed tan that fools everyone into thinking you have an amazing natural glow. It takes the edge off, a bit like candlelight, and it's a great way to counteract the washed-out effect of flash photography."

"For any wedding day, you want your tan to work with the white dress so it has to be light and natural. Test it out a few weeks before the big day and check out how your skin looks if you wear a white vest. Get a friend to take some photos with a flash and see how the colour comes out. It should look like you've had a relaxing break and that you're glowing from within.
Placement of the tan is important too: if you dig out some old holiday photos, you'll see that your arms are darker on top than underneath, the hands never tan on the sides, your shoulders go darker and so on. Follow those guides to get the most authentic-looking self-tan."

"Back to Kate; if I was doing her tan for the wedding I'd probably choose St Tropez. It works for every skintone. I'd do two really fine layers, not only to look really natural but so that it fades invisibly. If you want to tan yourself at home, I think the L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Express Pro Spray can is amazing - the nozzle is genius. Remember; to get the best finish on your face, prep the skin by rubbing an ice cube all over to close up the pores and apply a light layer of moisturiser."

Book at tan with James by calling 020 7300 1414.

Headmasters Blow-dry Collection

Headmasters Blow-dry Collection

Every season the brilliant nationwide hair salon company Headmasters brings out a collection of blow-dry styles, so if you can't find the words to express your desired style to your hairdresser, you can simply point and pick the one you like the look of.
This summer, there are eight styles to choose from including the very bridal 'Vintage Double Knot', 'Pretty in Plaits' and 'Rock Candy'.
The 'Vintage Double Knot' is a polished up 'do that involves tying the hair into a pony and securing the 'tail' into a neat, smooth and fairly large knot. It would look gorgeous at a traditional formal wedding with a tiara or brooch pinned onto the knot, or even a wedding abroad to keep the hair off the face during hot weather.
'Pretty in Plaits' is an ethereal and modern half-up half-down, where a section of hair above one ear has been plaited around the head. To me it says 'barefoot in a meadow picking flowers wearing a floaty Alice Temperley number'.
'Rock Candy' meanwhile is the sexy big sister of the half-up half-down. It's a Bardot back-combed blow-out with a central parting, heaving lash-skimming fringe and gently pulled back sides. I see this with a tiara for a very glamorous city hotel wedding followed by decadent evening cocktails. It's also a perfect choice for hen parties because it's fun, fierce and fabulous if worn with an LBD and loads of mascara.
The joy of it all is that these hairstyles don't cost a fortune (£24 each) and the speedy stylists will get the job done pronto (45 mins).
I love the idea of having a style menu and I'm definitely going to be trying these out next time I'm there seeing my favourite stylist Jonathan. Which is probably quite soon actually! Now that the Royal Wedding is approaching, all the TV stations are banging down our doors so Headmasters' will be my second home for the next few weeks. If you spot me on the box try to guess which style I'm wearing!

The blow-dry collection is available from March 2011.
See the full range at