I am envious of every girl who can do something pretty with her hair. Whether it’s loose, tumbling curls or a pristine French twist, I envy them – even more so when they make it look so effortless and quick. I just straighten my hair because it’s the only thing I can’t go wrong with.
This might be about to change with A) my hair growing to a manageable and workable length and B) a clever little thing from hair stylist Mark Hill. Big Bun* is a hair pillow or a hairy sausage with two small clips to grip onto your hair. Clip it down, wrap hair around it and secure with pins. It makes messy buns and beehives a dream come true, giving hair extra oomph. It comes in two colours – brunette for dark hair and blonde to blend discretely into your natural hair.
Pairing up nicely with Big Bun is Big Tease BBF*, a superbly gentle yet effective comb for er, backcombing and giving that much needed volume for bouffant hair. The secret with this ergonomic comb is the multi-length triple row of teeth which backcombs hair without the pressure and damage inflicted from conventional combs.
I wanted to see how a really nice up-do would look on me so at Mark Hill’s press event recently, I begged the stylist to put my hair up. She took a section from the top of the crown and backcombed it with Big Tease BBF. Then she clipped the pillow under the backcombed hair, secured the hair over it with pins…and voila, we had a beehive do. In 15 minutes I went from flat to fabulous. Something so simple can transform dull hair into a glam barnet.
I tried it myself at home and my first attempt was slightly messy. It’s pretty fiddly to get to grips with plus you can’t be sure how neat (or untidy) the back of your head looks. I think the way to do it is to spritz hairspray and backcomb a section from the top, roll it forward, then take a section from each side, add more hairspray and backcomb before bringing the sections together and pinning them under the pillow.
Any way I accomplished some kind of an up-do – I just need more practice and then hopefully I will have a glam hairstyle to do for special occasions. (Sorry for the grainy image – lack of light in the room!)
Mark Hill’s Big Bun and Big Tease BBF are priced at £9.99 and £6.69 respectively and are available exclusively in Boots stores and online. For more information on Mark Hill, you can visit his website www.markhill.co.uk.
Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is 20 years old this year. The film that revived John Travolta’s career and made Uma Thurman über cool thanks to her portrayal of Mrs Mia Wallace (backed up by one of the best soundtracks ever), is the inspiration behind Urban Decay’s new limited edition Pulp Fiction collection* – a complete change in direction for them too.
I had a framed photograph of Mia Wallace on my bedroom wall for years (the famous shot used in the poster of the movie). That iconic black bob, blood red lips and nails to match still remains classic, understated and criminally gorgeous.
What started off as a lipstick and nail polish then grew into a sizeable collection to include an eyeshadow palette, lip pencil and eyeliner and it’s fair to say Urban Decay pays a mighty fine homage to Mia.
The eyeshadow palette (£17.50) unfolds to reveal five neutral shades, three of which are completely new. The shiny case features the fateful Ezekiel passage from the Bible recited by Jules Winnfield, from which the eyeshadows take their names.
From top to bottom we have:
Righteous – a light cream matte
Tyranny – a warm brown matte
Vengeance – a deep taupe-brown matte-satin
Furious – a white satin
Anger – a black satin with slight tonal sparkle
Each shadow is nothing short of the quality Urban Decay is famous for – velvety soft, pigmented and dead easy to blend. I love Tyranny – the colour reminds me of a chocolate fudge gelato and Vengeance is equally delicious. Helpfully there is a ‘Get the Look’ card with a step-by-step guide included on how to recreate Mia’s look.
Unusually a glitter liquid eyeliner has been thrown into the mix. The heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Gunmetal (£14) is a clear base with black and silver glitter. It’s a water-based, buildable formula with peach and cucumber extract to condition the skin and carrot extract to smooth and soften. The product is also paraben-free.
It’s the only item I would skip buying as it doesn’t excite me greatly and it’s not something I would reach for repeatedly. If I am in need of a glitter eyeliner (which I’m not as I find them pretty pointless), I can find cheaper alternatives in Superdrug.
Lipstick Mrs Mia Wallace (£15) joins the series of Urban Decay’s brilliant Revolution lipsticks with a matching 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil (£13) with the same namesake. I have a few of Revolution lippies so I am familiar with the rich, creamy formula and the slick bullet that makes for easy application. I cannot get enough of Mrs Mia Wallace – it’s my kind of deep blood red.
Mia’s nails also get attention and I have a feeling I will have to buy back-ups because it’s THE red I’ve been missing for years. I was in love with Miss Selfridge nail polishes when I was at school and Trash was my absolute number one choice – a deep burgundy red with a gold shimmer until that (and the entire range) was discontinued. Well it’s been reincarnated in the form of Mrs Mia Wallace thanks to Urban Decay and I, for one, could not be happier.
The formula is excellent with opacity in one coat though you ought to layer on a second for optimum colour. I kept this on my nails for three days with no chipping. However I struggled with the brush as it’s really thin, which means the risk of picking up too much product to speed up the process and making a mess. Still, I can let that one slip when the colour is stunning.
If you were too young to remember when Pulp Fiction came out, I hate you. Having said that, there couldn’t be anything better to introduce a new generation to a cult classic (and for fans to revisit the movie) than this brilliant and clever collection. Let me know what you think of this, honey bunnies.
Urban Decay’s glorious Pulp Fiction collection is available from Debenhams and House of Fraser in store and online, Selfridges Birmingham and at feelunique.com and beautybay.com to name just a few.