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The New Year hair and beauty detox
January 16th 2014
The detox season is well underway but it's the S/S14 catwalks that are providing motivation as we strip back to minimalistic hair and make-up. Anna Hunter reports
Whether you’re loathe to commit to a crack of dawn regimen of kettlebells and kale, have resolved to cut down your getting ready time or are simply a bit broke, we have the perfect New Year detox for you, and we promise there’s not a green juice in sight.
Instead, we’re championing going cold turkey on your hair and beauty habits. This may seem odd coming from the Get The Gloss grooming base station, but hair and beauty pros, industry experts, designers and editors alike agree that a prevailing trend for Spring/Summer 2014 is raw, understated and fuss-free prettification. Forfeit the fake tan, throw out the tweezers and cancel that blow dry; hair and beauty is going back to basics, and quite frankly we’re breathing a sober sigh of relief. We all need to down tools and recharge our hair and beauty batteries every now and again.
Many of the S/S14 catwalks provide a masterclass in minimalistic hair and make-up: from Chloé to Alexander Wang to Balmain, barely-there beauty ruled the runways and hair was left to do its thing. Models nonchalantly strolled down catwalks looking easy, breezy and effortlessly beautiful. They also looked incredibly comfortable, possibly partly due to their God-given good looks or feasibly because flat shoes are also back in vogue. Someone out there in Fashland is giving us partied-out women a break.
The popularity of Urban Decay’s ‘Naked 3’ palette, the universal esteem for Essie’s ‘Ballet Slippers’ nail polish (the Queen’s varnish of choice) and the BB cream boom all suggest that we hanker after natural looking finishes that flatter in a flash. We want hi-tech formulas that are low-maintenance in terms of application and upkeep, and we certainly don’t want to look like we rose with the larks to slather on slap or tame our manes into submission.
Enter this season’s newest product picks; from MAC’S Magnetic Nude range to Bobbi Brown’s Nude Glow collection and Lancôme’s French Ballerine launch, beauty is taking a turn towards the subtle and demure. That off-duty model look has never been easier to achieve - a dab of highlighter here, a swoosh of blusher there and perhaps a facial along the way. Looking after your body is often a priority come January, but focusing on skincare and forgoing the frippery will make you feel equally virtuous.
As for louche, less-is-more hair, we’ve been admiring the artfully disheveled “I woke up like this” ’do for quite some time now. From wild-haired girl group Haim to un-coiffed and carefree Alexa Chung, windswept waves and flyaway fringes are doing their thing on a red carpet, runway or indeed high street near you. The fact that the mermaid-haired Gisele has been signed up as the face of Pantene’s ‘Damage Detox’ collection says it all about the turning tide of hair trends for this coming year - less peroxide and hold the extensions; it’s time to relax and relish healthy, happy-go-lucky hair. If it’s good enough for Chanel and L’Oréal Professionnel, who have hired the messy-maned Kristen Stewart and beachy-locked Kirsten Dunst respectively, it’s good enough for us. Bedhead kinks, haphazard braids and a devil-may-care attitude are de rigueur.
If you can’t face going completely au naturel for the New Year, by all means book in with your colourist, but it’s time to get seriously smart in terms of mane management. Instead of stark and spendy regular highlights, consider opting for the softer balayage technique. It will look fresher longer, make you appear younger and keep the dreaded roots at bay. Another colouring method that’s commitment-lite yet incredibly chic is Ombré’s elegant older sister, l’écaille. Coined and created by the elite colouring team at Jo Hansford in Mayfair, l’écaille, which translates as ‘tortoiseshell’, ‘gives hair a soft, multi-tonal look without any harsh lines’, as described by the salon’s head colourist, Jaclyn Smith. Never too brash or bright and always matched to your natural colouring, l’écaille boosts tired styles and pallid winter complexions perfectly, without the need for a military schedule of touch-up appointments to follow.
Soft yet rich, polished yet undone, it’s not hard to see why this innovative, blended colouring process has found favour amongst Hollywood heavyweights such as Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson. Delicate, ethereal and seemingly effortless, l’écaille is the last word in dignified hair detoxing. It’s not obvious, it’s not taxing on your time or long-term finances; it’s simply very wearable and will light up your face in the dreary greyness of January and beyond.
If this is detoxing, we’re all getting back on the wagon with immediate effect.